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Six Seminarians Receive Official Call Letters

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On March 25, 2010, six Diocese of Raleigh seminarians received official call letters from Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh. Official call letters signify the seminarians have been called to candidacy, ministry or Holy Orders.

The six seminarians, Rev. Mr. John Victor Gournas, Brendan Buckler, Don Maloney, Michael Burbeck, Nick Cottrill and Ryan Elder, received recommendations from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary Overbrook in Wynnewood, PA.

Deacon Gournas has been called to the Sacred Order of Priest.  A parishioner of St. Luke The Evangelist Church in Raleigh, Deacon Gournas says, “I often hear young men say, ‘I am not worthy of the call to priesthood.’”  He responds, “No one is worthy of the call in and of himself, but our Lord's grace is what allows one to follow this sacred path.”  Deacon Gournas' ordination to the Priesthood will be on Saturday, May 22 at 10:00am in Sacred Heart Cathedral, Raleigh.

Brendan Buckler has been called to the Sacred Order of Deacon. Mr. Buckler, a parishioner of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rocky Mount, says he was influenced by several good priests, one being Fr. Phillip M. Tighe, Pastor of St Catherine of Siena Parish, Wake Forest. Mr. Buckler's ordination to the Diaconate will be on Saturday, June 5, at 10:00am in St. Catherine of Siena Church.

Don Maloney has been called to the Ministry of Acolyte.” An Acolyte is appointed to aid the deacon and to minister to the priest at the altar and as a special minister to give Holy Communion to the faithful at the liturgy and to the sick. Mr. Maloney is a parishioner of Saint Luke the Evangelist in Raleigh.  “One of the turning points in my vocation was after I spent time in thanksgiving for the gift of the Lord’s sacrifice of the Mass,” Maloney says.  “It is that sacrifice we are called to live, and everything the priest does begins and ends with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”

Three men, Michael Burbeck, Nick Cotrill and Ryan Elder, have been called to the Ministry of Lector. The appointment provides for the reading of the sacred Scripture in the liturgical assembly, except for the Gospel in the Mass.  

Mr. Burbeck, a parishioner of Immaculate Conception, Wilmington, says his favorite saint is Saint Therese. “Saint Therese is really the first saint that I came to know and love in a personal way,” Burbeck says. “Her spirituality of smallness and loving confidence is, for me, a wonderful model and inspiration for pursuing holiness in everyday life and a reminder of the gentleness and love of the Sacred Heart.”

Mr. Cottrill’s home parish is Our Lady of Lourdes in Raleigh. “I am grateful for all of the prayers, encouragement and support not only from my family but from the entire Diocese,” Cotrill says. “Trust me when I say that your prayers are evident (especially during exams!). I am constantly aware of the Love of God the Father in giving me the grace to respond to His call to serve Him.”

Mr. Elder, a parishioner of the Newman Catholic Student Center Parish in Chapel Hill, says he was inspired to the priesthood “mostly by my friends in college who could see things in me that I couldn’t see in myself.”

For more information on the seminarians and the Office of Vocations, please visit www.raleighvocations.org.