Diocese of Ogdensburg

The Roman Catholic Church in Northern New York

 

Leagon Carlin

Carlin Formal

4th College, Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio
Parish: St. Peter's, Plattsburgh
Birthday: July 15th
Favorite food: Bread, Cheese, Meat
Favorite music: Classic rock, Classical Music, Michelle Mandico, Alanna Boudrea

Who are your favorite saints?
St. Albert The Great, St. John Paul II, St. Maria Goretti, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.

What fun things do you enjoy doing?
Kayaking, hammocking, thinking, talking.

What is your favorite prayer?
Divine Mercy Chaplet, rosary, Liturgy of the Hours, Mass, conversing with God.

What is your favorite scripture passage? Why?
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has anointed me, and sent me out to preach the Gospel to the poor, to restore the broken-hearted.” Luke 4:18. This quote encompasses those gifts that God has given me and which I am called to exercise in whichever vocation He has made me for.   

Who most influenced your decision to become a priest?
St. John Paul II, G.K. Chesterton and Fr. Bryan Stitt.

What will be the best part about being a priest?
Celebrating the sacraments of course, but the very best part, I think, will be waking up everyday and being an “alter Christus” in the lives of the people of God.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about being a priest?
Pray! Listen to God since He has a wonderful plan for you and it begins with trusting Him. Speak to a priest you are close to and if there aren’t any, get close to one! Most importantly, be not afraid. If you are actively questing to be closer to Christ, you can’t fail.


Matthew Conger

Conger Formal


2nd Theology, Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio
Parish: Notre Dame, Ogdensburg
Birthday: December 26th
Patron Saint: St. John Bosco
Favorite tv show: Stranger Things

What fun things do you enjoy doing?
Fishing, Kayaking, Swimming, Biking, Camping.

What is your favorite prayer?
Prayer To St. Michael.

What is your favorite scripture passage? Why?
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13. I like this quote because we must give our all for one another.   

Who most influenced your decision to become a priest?
Fr. Jim Shurtleff by seeing how much joy and how much care he had for the people of the parish. I knew there must be something special about the priesthood.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about being a priest?
Have courage and talk to someone. Your pastor or Fr. Doug or Fr. Tom are great resources. Most importantly, pray about it and if you are being called, you will know His plan for you.


 Lukas Gruber
Gruber Formal

Pre-theology, Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio
Parish: St. Mary's, Potsdam
Birthday: February 22nd
Patron Saint: St. Pius X
Favorite food: The meats

What fun things do you enjoy doing?
Hiking, playing music.

What is your favorite prayer?
The mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.

What is your favorite scripture passage? Why?
The beginning of John’s gospel (John 1:1-14). I like this because it is a summary of salvation history..   

Why do you want to be a priest?
To act “in persona Christi,” to offer the sacraments and serve the church.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about being a priest?
Pray, find others who are also discerning and forma group, talk to a trusted priest and vocation   director, frequently attend mass and the sacraments.


 Michael Hamilton
Hamilton Formal

1st College, Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio
Parish: RCC of St. Alexander, St. Joseph and St. James, Morrisonville
Birthday: August 12
Patron Saint: St. Michael
Favorite music group: Cold Play
Favorite tv show: NCIS
Favorite food: Salmon

What fun things do you enjoy doing?
Watch movies, play cards, walk, hang out with friends.

What is your favorite prayer?
Serenity Prayer. It allows me just to place all my worries in God’s hands.

What is your favorite scripture passage? Why?
“Delight in the Lord always and he will give you the aspirations of your heart.” Psalm 31:4. I like this quote because if you are always looking for the Lord, you will always be happy.

Who most influenced your decision to become a priest?
First Jesus through that still small voice in my heart. Beyond that it is a collection of lay faithful    and many priests and religious I have met over the years.

What will be the best thing about being a priest?
Being with the people and bringing them the love of Jesus through the sacraments.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about being a priest?
Go for it, talk to a priest, pray and ultimately take the step forward and don’t look back. Leave all the worries in God’s hands.


Kevin McCullouch
 McCullouch Formal

1st College, Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio
Parish: Holy Family, Watertown
Birthday: March 4th
Patron Saint: St. Faustina, St. John Paul II
Favorite music group: I Am They
Favorite tv show: Last Man Standing
Favorite food: Steak, burgers, asparagus

What fun things do you enjoy doing?
Biking, bowling, watching movies, ice skating.

What is your favorite prayer?
Rosary, Liturgy of the Hours.

What is your favorite scripture passage? Why?
The Parable of the Lost Son.     

Who most influenced your decision to become a priest?
I think the most influential people in my life have been the priests I am close to, like my pastor.

What will be the best thing about being a priest?
Being able to provide each of the sacraments to the people in significant ways that are unique to the people.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about being a priest?
First, that’s amazing! We need more men to respond courageously to Our Lord’s call. Keep praying about it and surround yourself with good Catholic friends who will support you and pray for you.


John Kennedy Ojuok
John Kennedy Formal

1st Theology, Christ The King, East Aurora
Parish: St. Monica, Awendo Town, Kenya
Birthday: June 29th
Patron Saint: St. John the Baptist
Favorite tv show: America's Got Talent
Favorite food: Chicken wings and French fries

What fun things do you enjoy doing?
Playing and watching soccer, hiking.

What is your favorite prayer?
Our Father and the Angelus.

What is your favorite scripture passage? Why?
“And so I say to you ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9. I am assured by this passage that God answers prayer. Prayer is the most important tool.

Why do you want to be a priest?
I want to be a priest to draw people closer to God through my actions, deeds and way of life, dedicating my life in service of the pilgrim church.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about being a priest?
Discuss it with your pastor and see how you two can start a journey of faith together. Talk to God in prayer. God who is love will lead you through it and grant your desire.


Nicholas Olley
Olley Formal

2nd College, Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio
Parish: St. James Minor, Carthage
Birthday: February 21st
Patron Saint: St. John Bosco
Favorite tv show: Super hero shows
Favorite food: Steak and Prime rib

Who are your favorite saints?
St. Francis, St. Nicholas, St. John Paul II, St. Padre Pio, St. Andrew.

What fun things do you enjoy doing?
Hunting, hiking, going out.

What is your favorite prayer?
Rosary, Divine Mercy, the Mass.

What is your favorite scripture passage? Why?
“Be not afraid.” I like this quote because it is a great quote to live by in today’s world.     

Who most influenced your decision to become a priest?
God, my uncle and my pastors.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about being a priest?
Pray, explore different types of priesthood (religious or diocesan) and talk about it.


Carter Pierce
Pierce Formal

2nd College, Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio
Parish: St. Raphael's, Heuvelton
Birthday: November 21st
Patron Saint: St. Gabriel, St. Thomas More
Favorite food: Pulled pork BBQ

What fun things do you enjoy doing?
Basketball, farming, reading, travelling, hiking, biking, chess, napping, drawing, swimming, singing, laughing, cards, building.

What is your favorite prayer?
I use a lot of prayers, some I kind of make up. I really like the Divine Mercy Chaplet and I find great peace and assurance in the Glory Be.

What is your favorite scripture passage? Why?
“Your every act should be done with love.”
1 Cor. 16:14. I find this passage to be a good daily reminder of how to live in the light of Christ.             

Who most influenced your decision to become a priest?
Fr. Bryan Stitt was a very big part of my discernment. He pushed me to discern deeper and challenged me to live better, more God-centered. This helped me to a clearer discernment and a happier life overall.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about being a priest?
First, don’t be embarrassed about it even though a lot of people won’t understand. Second, do not underestimate the power of prayer and the saints’ intercession to help clarify things. Most            importantly, trust God that what He wills for you us what will make you most happy and then commit yourself to discovering what that is.


 Douglas Schirmer
Schirmer Formal

2nd College, Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio
Parish: St. Mary's Cathedral, Ogdensburg
Birthday: June 26th
Patron Saint: St. Thomas Aquinas
Favorite tv show: Firefly
Favorite music group: Black Keys, Led Zeppelin
Favorite food: Gold Coast Stew or anything Italian

What fun things do you enjoy doing?
Avid and accomplished coffee drinker, reading, cooking.

What is your favorite prayer?
Hail Holy Queen, Prayer To St. Michael, Glory Be.

What is your favorite scripture passage? Why?
Chapter one of John’s Gospel. It is a beautiful summary of the history of salvation. I grew up hearing it every Sunday.   

Who most influenced your decision to become a priest?
My Godfather, Rev. Douglas Hungerford, Fr. Bryan Stitt, Fr. Joseph Giroux, Fr. Scott Harter, Fr. Scott Belina and Fr. Joe Morgan.

Can you tell us a little of your story?
I was raised in the Anglican Church. As I began to consider converting to Rome, I began to feel a pull to consider the priesthood. I tried not to think about it, even moved to Nebraska for work, but found I was unfulfilled and unhappy. On a pilgrimage, a priest challenged me to find what set my heart on fire. The answer was being a vessel of God’s love, mercy, truth and courage to those around me. I contacted the vocation director and began the journey of seminary discernment and have never been so happy or at peace!

What advice would you give to someone thinking about being a priest?
Be not afraid! Christ will never be outdone in mercy or clarity. Discernment is a process, not a contract. Seminary is first and foremost about drawing you closer to Christ. Take the plunge and fear not!


So, what is God calling you to be?
Conger


Praying

Seminarians praying Morning Prayer at the summer retreat at Guggenheim.


Group Pic

Having fun at the summer gathering with the Directors.