Twenty-two men are in formation for the Priesthood in the Diocese of Raleigh, including four new seminarians. Twenty are enrolled in St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia and two are attending Hispanic Seminary of Santa Maria of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The four new seminarians are parishioners in the Diocese of Raleigh. Mr. Juan Carlos Garcia and Mr. Noe Ramirez de Pas attend St. Juan Diego Catholic Mission in Robbins, Mr. Evan George Waniewski attends St. Paul Catholic Church in New Bern, and Mr. W. Christian Cook attends St. Mary Catholic Church in Wilmington.
Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and Diocesan Vocations Director Father Ned Shlesinger (right of Bishop), with seminarians enrolled in Diocesan Formation Program.
Meet the New Seminarians
W. Christian Cook
W. Christian Cook enters seminary as a first-year Pre-Theology student. A graduate of Western Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Mr. Cook also earned a Law Degree from the University of Dayton. Mr. Cook says he was inspired to the call to Priesthood by the works of Catholic authors, the lives of the saints, and the example of many holy priests in the Diocese of Raleigh, who provide daily encouragement. Mr. Cook also credits his parents for building a beautiful family and his grandfather who had a devotion to the Holy Rosary. Mr. Cook has carried his grandfather’s Rosary since his death.
Favorite Scripture Passages: Psalm 4 and 1 Kings 19:11
Favorite Saints: Saint Therese of Lisieux; Saint Maximilian Kolbe; Saint John Vianney; Saint John of the Cross
Hobbies: Reading, sailing, saltwater fishing, snow skiing, water skiing, soccer and basketball
Juan Carlos Garcia
Juan Carlos Garcia is entering his first-year College at Santa Maria of Guadalupe Seminary. A 2011 graduate of North Moore High School in Robbins, NC, Mr. Garcia says his vocation to the Priesthood was inspired by Pope Benedict XVI and Father Bill John Acosta Escobar, his parish priest, whom he says works to ensure that the people understand their faith and live their lives according to God’s commandments.
Favorite Scripture Passage: Jeremiah 29:11
Favorite Saint: Saint Benedict of Nursia
Hobbies: Tennis, soccer, reading, video games
Noe Ramirez de Paz
A 2011 graduate of North Moore High School in Robbins, NC, and a classmate of Mr. Garcia’s, Mr. Noe Ramirez de Paz is enrolled as a first-year College student in Mexico City. Mr. Ramirez expresses his gratitude to Father Bill John Acosta Escobar and Father Paul Parkerson for the prayerful assistance they provided to him in his ongoing discernment process. He suggests that any man discerning a call to a vocation take time to pray and to talk to God.
Favorite Scripture Passage: Luke 22:42
Favorite Saint: Saint John Vianney
Hobbies: Tennis, soccer, reading, movies and walking
Evan George Waniewski
Evan George Waniewski, a graduate of New Bern High School, enters the Diocesan Formation Program as a first-year College student. Influenced in great part by a parish priest close to his family during his childhood, Mr. Waniewski says from a young age, he remembers wanting to be just like Father Frederick Flaherty. He says taking part in the Diocesan Discernment Group was most helpful in his discernment to enter seminary, as was discussing his vocation with family, friends and a priest.
Favorite Scripture Passage: 1 Corinthians 12:20-26
Favorite Saint: Saint Peter
Hobbies: Reading, drawing, swimming.
The four new seminarians join the 18 already in formation:
- Deacon Don Maloney - 4th Theology
- Nick Cottrill - 3rd Theology
- Tom Duggan - 3rd Theology
- Ryan Elder - 3rd Theology
- Michael Burbeck - 2nd Theology
- Jonathon Baggett - 1st Theology
- Steven Cartwright - 1st Theology
- Philip Johnson - 1st Theology
- Phil List - 1st Theology
- Rob Schmid - 1st Theology
- Ian Van Heusen - 1st Theology
- Tim Ahn - 2nd Pre-Theology
- Myles Casanova - 2nd Pre-Theology
- James Magee - 2nd Pre-Theology
- John Kane - 4th College
- Michael Schuetz - 4th College
- Edisson Urrego - 4th College
- Marlon Mendieta - 2nd College
The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge requests the faithful in the Diocese of Raleigh to pray for our seminarians by name.
Diocesan Prayer for Vocations
Father, in your plan for our salvation
You provide shepherds for Your people.
Fill Your Church with the spirit
of courage and love.
Give the Church more Priests,
Worthy ministers for Your altars and ardent
but gentle servants of the Gospel.
Grant also to us an increase
in vocations to the Religious Life.
May more of Your people respond to Your call
in a spirit of joyful generosity.
May they serve Your people with love
by following in the footsteps of Christ Your Son
and provide by their way of life
a convincing sign of Your kingdom.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.