2011 Vocation Boom Radio Episodes
February 5, 2011 (Inaugural Broadcast)
Jerry Usher tells the Vocation Boom “story,” how it came to be, what it consists of, what the future plans are, etc.
Brother (now Father) Zyg Mazanowski, T.O.R. Franciscan seminarian shares his journey toward the priesthood, and the fact that he will be ordained a priest in May 2011.
February 12, 2011
Fr. Donald Calloway describes his amazing journey from a wayward teenager to a dedicated Catholic priest.
Grant Desme explains his decision to leave professional baseball and pursue a vocation to the priesthood with the Norbertine Fathers and Brothers in Southern California.
February 19, 2011
Fr. Joe Noonan, former vocation director for the Archdiocese of Chicago talks about the work he was involved with when he was the vocation director.
Dr. Matthew Bunson shares information and statistics about the priesthood around the world, highlighting how more and more vocations are coming forward, especially in countries like Africa and Asia. Dr. Bunson is a member of the Vocation Boom advisory board.
February 26, 2011
Most Reverend Joseph Tyson, Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Seattle (now Bishop of the Diocese of Yakima), talks about his call to the priesthood, and shares some insights into vocations in general, and what is happening in the Archdiocese of Seattle in particular.
Fr. David Toups, pastor of Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa, and former executive director of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, discusses the permanent sacramental character imprinted on the soul of a priest, and how it’s important for a man who is ordained to understand that fact, as well as the fact that he must persevere in his calling regardless of circumstances that may arise during his priesthood. (Note: Msgr. Toups is now the rector of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, and is a member of the Vocation Boom advisory board).
March 5, 2011
Fr. Shawn McKnight, executive director of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations talks about the work of his office at the bishops’ conference, and what we all can do to promote more vocations to the priesthood.
Fr. Brian Welter, vocation director for the Archdiocese of Chicago, talks about the work his office is doing to foster more priestly vocations in the archdiocese.
Cy Laurent, founder and president of The Laboure Society, highlights the work they are doing to help eliminate debt in the lives of young men and women who wish to enter formation for the priesthood or religious life, but are prevented from taking step by things like student loans.
March 12, 2011
Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers talks about male spirituality, and the importance of men who aspire to the priesthood understanding their manhood and masculinity. Deacon Harold is a member of the Vocation Boom advisory board.
Fr. Michael Najim, vocation director for the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, shares what he believes are “Five Excuses Men Use to Avoid Entering the Seminary.” (Note: Fr. Najim is now the director of spiritual formation at The Seminary of Our Lady of Providence).
Mark Brumley, president of Ignatius Press, explains the difference between the ordained priesthood and the priesthood of all believers (“common priesthood”).
March 19, 2011
Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend shares his own vocation testimony, and talks about priestly vocations in general, his time as a seminary rector, and the success they’re having in their diocese in recruiting men for the priesthood.
Fr. Tim Birney, vocation director for the Archdiocese of Detroit, talks about what they are doing to encourage more young men to consider a vocation to the priesthood.
March 26, 2011
Fr. Rocky Hoffman, executive director for Relevant Radio, talks about the priest and his relationship to both the Eucharist and Confession.
Steve Ray tells how he and his wife miscarried a son they believed was destined to be a priest, and how their parish in Michigan has more seminarians studying for the priesthood than any other single parish in the Western Hemisphere.
April 2, 2011
Fr. Benedict Croell, vocation director for the Eastern Dominican Province of St. Joseph shares his calling to the priesthood, as well as the tremendous success his province is having in recruiting men (they have recently had classes of 21 and 18 novices join their community, which is virtually unheard of in our day).
April 9, 2011
Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers talks about the three-fold ministry of priests – priestly, teaching, and governing aspects of a priest’s ministry, which are patterned after those aspects of the ministry of Christ. Deacon Harold is a member of the Vocation Boom advisory board.
Fr. Calvin Goodwin, FSSP, discusses the life and ministry of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.
April 16, 2011
Fr. Joe Noonan, former vocation director for the Archdiocese of Chicago, shares information about the TOTUS TUUS ministry in the archdiocese, and how it is helping young men and women better discern if they’re called to the priesthood or religious life.
Tim Martens, a young seminarian for the Diocese of Green Bay, tells us what is drawing him to the priesthood and what his seminary experience has been like.
Dick Martens, Tim’s dad, shares what their family life is like, which helped to plant the seeds of a possible vocation in Tim’s heart, and what it means to him as a father to have a possible priest in the family.
April 23, 2011
Dustin Dought, seminarian for the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, talks about what attracts him to the priesthood, gives an update on his formation so far, and talks about what he looks forward to when he is a priest.
Leonardo Defilipis talks about his initiative to promote vocations, including his popular “Vianney Drama.”
Deacon James Keating, president of the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, Nebraska, talks about the supplemental spiritual formation his institute offers seminarians.
April 30, 2011
Fr. Jonathan Felux, vocation director for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, shares his calling to the priesthood, and tells what they are doing to help bring about an increase in vocations to the priesthood.
Debbie Georgianni, Director of Community Relations for Immaculate Heart Radio’s affiliate in Phoenix, tells how, as a lay instructor of the faith, she attempts to encourage young men under her influence to consider a vocation to the priesthood.
May 7, 2011
Fr. Shawn McKnight, executive director of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, talks about how we all need to work to create a “culture of vocations.”
Most Reverend Elden F. Curtiss, Archbishop Emeritus of Omaha, Nebraska, talks about how he felt a call to the priesthood at a very young age, how he has always labored hard to encourage vocations, and the success he experienced as ordinary in the archdiocese. His Excellency is a member of the Vocation Boom advisory board.
May 14, 2011
Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers talks about the importance of prayer and discernment for young men attempting to find their vocational calling. Deacon Harold is a member of the Vocation Boom advisory board.
Fr. Rocky Hoffman, executive director of Relevant Radio, discusses the importance of a strong relationship between priests and seminarians and Our Blessed Mother.
Most Reverend John Nienstedt, Archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis, shares his own calling to the priesthood, and discusses the methods he is employing in his archdiocese to foster more vocations to the priesthood. His Excellency is a member of the Vocation Boom advisory board.
May 21, 2011
Most Reverend John Noonan, Bishop of the Diocese of Orlando, talks about the recruitment and training of priests.
Tim Staples, Catholic Answers‘ Director of Apologetics, discusses how God uses seminary formation as part the overall vocation discernment process, regardless of whether or not a man is ordained a priest.
Fr. David Toups, Pastor of Christ the King parish in Tampa, Florida and former Executive Director of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations, gives an overview of his vocation story as well as the priesthood in general. (Note: Msgr Toups is now the rector of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, and a member of the Vocation Boom advisory board).
May 28, 2011
Fr. Michael Najim, vocation director for the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, talks about his book Radical Surrender: Letters to Seminarians. (Note: Fr. Najim is now the director of spiritual formation at The Seminary of Our Lady of Providence).
Sherry Brownrigg, co-founder of Maria Regina Cleri, talks about that organization and what they’re doing to support priests and promote vocations.
June 4, 2011
Msgr. John Cihak, a priest in the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, and a staff member at the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, talks about “Quo Vadis Days“, a movement he co-founded, which is a summer camp for young men to help encourage them to consider a vocation to the priesthood. Msgr. Cihak is a member of the Vocation Boom advisory board.
June 11, 2011
June 18, 2011
Fr. Jim Crisman, vocation director for the Archcdiocese of Denver, talks about the efforts being made in his archdiocese to help young men make the decision for priesthood if it’s their calling from God.
Fr. Caleb Vogel, Catholic chaplain on the campus of the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, shares what it’s like being a college chaplain helping young people practice their faith and pray about their vocation.
June 25, 2011
Msgr. Bernard Galic, Vocation Director for the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, shares his own calling to the priesthood, and talks about the great success in his diocese recruiting “home grown” vocations. (Note: Msgr. Galic is no longer the vocation director, having been assigned to full-time parish ministry in his diocese).
Fr. David Toups, pastor of Christ the King parish in Tampa, Florida, and former Executive Director of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations, talks about the discipline of celibacy for Catholic priests. (Note: Msgr. Toups is now the rector of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, and a member of the Vocation Boom advisory board).
July 2, 2011
Msgr. Eugene Morris, faculty member at the Pontifical College Josephinum, talks about his own vocation and the necessity of a young man falling in love with the Eucharist if he wants to be a priest. Msgr. Morris is a member of the Vocation Boom advisory board.
July 9, 2011
Fr. Gray Bean, a convert to Catholicism from a Baptist background, talks about his own calling to the Catholic priesthood, and how he is always talking about the priesthood in his parish, constantly placing before the people the need we have for more priests.
Fr. Scott Settimo, priest of the Diocese of Juneau, Alaska, talks about his calling to the priesthood, and what it’s like to minister in what can be called a “missionary” diocese.
July 16, 2011
Fr. Anthony Widener, brother of Catholic radio personality Sherry Brownrigg, tells listeners about his call to the priesthood, and how he switched from pursuing a vocation to a religious community to one with a diocese.
July 23, 2011
Fr. Rick Martignetti, Director, Priestly Discernment Program at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, talks about the success of his program at the University and of his time of study in Rome during the final years of Pope John Paul II’s pontificate.
Fr. Richard Daise, Parochial Vicar at St. Mary’s Parish, Ellis, KS., talks about his call to the priesthood following a 27-year Army career as a veterinarian.
July 30, 2011
Fr. John Mclaughlin, Vocation Director for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, discusses his vocation and how challenging it can be to recruit men to serve as priests in the military.
August 6, 2011
Dolores Caldwell, staff member at St. Helen’s Catholic Church in Fresno, details her efforts to encourage young men to pray about the priesthood, and how she is praying for and supporting several men in formation for her diocese.
August 13, 2011
Msgr. Philip Reilly founder of Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, talks about the sanctity of human life, and how a priest must be, above all else, a defender of innocent human life.
Todd Sylvester, director of youth ministry at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Fairhope, Alabama, and the father of ten children, one of whom is in the seminary, discusses pointing young people toward their vocation and encouraging families to be “open and generous” in offering their children to God in the service of the Church. (Note: Todd’s son, Stephen, has since “discerned out” of the seminary).
August 27, 2011
Fr. Larry Letourneau, pastor of St. John the Baptist parish in Clyde, KS., talks about their efforts to promote and foster priestly vocations.
Fr. Curtis Gunwall, Vocation Director for the Diocese of Fargo, N.D. Discusses his role in getting young men to think about the priesthood as a vocation.
September 3, 2011
Anita Usher, Jerry’s sister-in-law, mother of eight children, one of whom has shown an interest in the priesthood from the age of five (he’s now thirteen). She shares her experience as the mother of a large family that strives through prayer and frequent reception of the sacraments to guide their children to the will of God for their lives.
Fr. Kevin Augustyn, priest of the Archdiocese of Denver, and pastor of the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center on the Campus of the University of Colorado, talks about campus ministry and the many solid programs they are implementing to attract students to the faith and to discern their vocations.
September 10, 2011
Fr. David Meconi, Editor of Homiletic and Pastoral Review and Spiritual Director at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., briefly discusses his own vocation story and describes the type of men joining the seminary today.
September 17, 2011
Fr. James Kubicki, National Director, Apostleship of Prayer, frequent guest on radio and television, popular conference speaker, retreat director, and parish mission speaker. His areas of expertise include the Eucharist, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Spiritual Exercises, and the practical spirituality of the Apostleship of Prayer.
September 24, 2011
Fr. Joshua Werth, Parochial Vicar at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Hayes, KS., talks about coming from a broken home and broken life to the holy priesthood.
Fr. Thomas Dome, Vocations and Formations Director for the Congregation of Canons Regular at their Dom Grea House in Santa Paula, CA., talks about his call to the priesthood and how he helps to promote vocations through a life of prayer and parish work.
October 1, 2011
Fr. Scott Hurd, a priest in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., talks about coming into the Catholic Church from the priesthood in the Episcopal church, and about his new book titled, Forgiveness, A Catholic Approach.
Reg & Jan Konrade, married more than 40 years, their oldest son is a priest serving as Vocation Director for the Diocese of Salina, KS. They talk about the joy of being parents of a priest as well as their service as Family Life Directors for their diocese, the same diocese their son is assigned to.
October 8, 2011
Doug Sherman, Founder and President of Immaculate Heart Radio and father of a priest, talks about the impact Catholic radio is having on the increase in priestly vocations, as well as what family life is like having a son in the priesthood.
Fr. Joseph Eddy, a priest in the Order of The Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, talks about his vocation story and the charism and ministries of the order to which he belongs.
October 15, 2011
Thomas McKenna, Executive Director for the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (CCC), explains how the CCC came to be by filling a need for priests across the country to get and stay connected with fellow, like-minded priests, and how the CCC continues its mission very successfully today.
Dean Marshall, a seminarian for the Diocese of Sacramento, CA., describes his journey from being raised with no religion whatsoever, to New Age and Wiccan beliefs and practices, to God’s final rescue from falsehood to the truth and beauty of the Catholic Faith, and ultimately his potential call to the priesthood.
October 22, 2011
Natalie Smith, Founder of Vocations Placement.org, talks about what she’s doing through her website apostolate to foster an increase on vocations.
Anne Hughes, author of the book Letters to Priests, discusses her book and why it is so important that we show our gratitude not only for our own priests, but priests everywhere.
October 29, 2011
John & Barbara Bertrand talk about how wonderful it is having a son as a priest, (see May 28, 2011 archive above) and John shares what it’s like being the Vocation Director for the Knights of Columbus for the state of California.
Fr. Johnny Savoie shares the story of his calling from veterinary medicine to Holy Orders.
November 5, 2011
Matt Swaim, convert to the Catholic Faith in 2005, Producer of The Son Rise Morning Show, and author, talks about his recent book, The Eucharist and the Rosary.
Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, frequent Vocation Boom Radio guest, talks briefly about his program, The Greatest Commandments, and outlines some of the changes that will take place in the Mass beginning the first Sunday of Advent, 2011. Deacon Harold is a member of the Vocation Boom advisory board.
November 12, 2011
Fr. Michael Najim, Vocation Director for the Diocese of Providence, R.I., Chaplain at LaSalle Academy, and author of Radical Surrender: Letters to Seminarians, talks from his experiences about the faith of young people today.
November 19, 2011
Fr. David Toups, Pastor of Christ the King Parish in Tampa, Fl., answers the question: “Why priestly celibacy?” (Note: Msgr. Toups is now the rector of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, and a member of the Vocation Boom advisory board).
Dr. Matthew Bunson, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, professor of Church History at the Catholic Distance University, Editor of Our Sunday Visitor’s The Catholic Answer Magazine, theologian, author, and well-known speaker, answers the question: “Why not have married priests?”
November 26, 2011
Ken Watts, Recruitment Coordinator at Blessed John XXIII Seminary in Weston, MA., discusses his role and what life is like in a seminary that primarily serves “later” or “second-career” vocations.
Leslie Malinowski, devoted wife and mother of two boys, the youngest of whom is considering a priestly vocation, describes the family environment she and her husband created in order to foster that desire and shares her excitement about the prospect of having a son become a Catholic priest.
December 3, 2011
Fr. Darrin Merlino, a Claretian priest, talks about his Hollywood ministry, and how he and Jerry Usher teamed up years ago to produce the newsletter In Persona Christi, out of which grew the apostolate Vocation Boom.
Steve Ray, convert, author, speaker, and pilgrimage leader, talks about what it’s like leading people, especially priests, to the Holy Land, and seeing their reactions when they see and hear about the places where the priesthood began.
December 10, 2011
Fr. Robert Robeson, Rector of Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis, IN., talks about the establishment of a new seminary (Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary was established in 2004) and cultivating vocations in family life.
Bishop Samuel Aquila of the Diocese of Fargo, N.D., shares his vocation journey as well as what it’s like cultivating and nurturing vocations as the bishop of his own diocese. (Note: The Most Reverend Samuel Aquila is now Archbishop of Denver, Colorado).
December 31, 2011
Fr. Troy Nevins, Pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Grand Rapids, MI. talks with Jerry about their time together in the early 1990’s as students at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and his calling to the priesthood.
Fr. Tony Fortman, priest of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, talks about his calling to the priesthood, and his life in the Community of which he is now a part.