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Twenty-three attend Seminarian Retreat; three receive Rite of Candidacy for Holy Orders


Diocesan seminarians recently participated in a four-day retreat that was followed by a Rite of Candidacy for Holy Orders Mass on Thursday, July 30, 2015.

The retreat is an annual tradition that follows the seminarians’ summer assignments.   

The event included prayer, Holy Hour meditations and spiritual reflections from Fr. Phil Tighe, pastor of Saint Catherine of Siena, Wake Forest and Fr. Gerry Blaszczak, S.J., pastor of Saint Raphael the Archangel, Raleigh. The event was organized by Fr. Bill John Acosta, director of the Vocations office.

Bishop Burbidge attended the retreat and shared spiritual reflections with the college, theologian and new seminarian groups.

The men took turns preparing meals and spent the afternoons playing sports, table games and lake swimming.

After the retreat, the seminarians gathered with their families and diocesan priests for a Rite of Candidacy for Holy Orders Mass at Saint Michael the Archangel church in Cary.

Juan Carlos Garcia, David Miller and Noe Ramirez declared their intentions to pursue Holy Orders. During the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders Mass, Bishop Burbidge officially accepted the seminarians as candidates for ordination. The Rite of Admission to Candidacy is celebrated when it has been established that the intention of those aspiring to Holy Orders is supported by the necessary qualifications and has achieved sufficient maturity. 

In his homily, Bishop Burbidge compared seminarian candidates to political candidates. “David, Juan Carlos and Noe, you are here today as a different kind of candidate. First of all, you do not put yourself forth. In His divine and mysterious plan, the Lord, who called his disciples by name in tonight’s Gospel, is the One who has chosen you, put you forth and led you to this day.”

After Mass those gathered shared a meal; it was an opportunity for introductions and fellowship among priests, seminarians and their families.  

Mr. Miller attends Pope Saint John XXIII Seminary in Boston. Mr. Garcia and Mr. Ramirez attend Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia.

The Class of 2015-2016

Tim Ahn, 4th Theology

Nikolai Brelinski, 1st College

Michael Coveyou, 2nd Theology

John De Guzman, 2nd Theology

Steven DiMassimo, 1st Pre Theology

Austin Faur, 1st Theology

Juan Garcia, 1st Theology

Oscar Hernandez, 1st College

Anthony Ibuaka, 2nd College

Francis Joanness, ESL

Philip Johnson, 4th Theology

John Kane, 4th Theology

Chris Koehn, 2nd Theology

James Magee, III, 3rd Theology

Jairo Maldonado, 3rd College

Marlon Mendieta, 2nd Theology

David Miller, 1st Theology

Kyle Mummert, 1st Pre Theology

Gabriel Nugent, 1st College

Juan Carlos Pirir, 2nd College

Benjamin, Ramirez, 3rd College

Noe Ramirez, 1st Theology

Erik Reyes, 4th College

Jose Reyes, 1st College

Michael Schuetz, 4th Theology

Tyler Sparrow, 3rd College

Edisson Urrego, 3rd Theology

Juan Pablo Valero, 1st Theology

Oscar Vela, 3rd College


Read Bishop Burbidge's homily