ENDORSEMENTS

WHAT LEADERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE MELCHIZEDEK PROJECT

“The Melchizedeck Project assists vocation directors and parish priests form and lead discernment groups. … (F)orming a community of support is crucial for young men to respond to the priestly calling. Often those experiencing a call from the Lord feel isolated. If they have the courage to reveal that they are considering seminary they usually receive little support from family and friends. The Melchizedek Project not only gives them good information it also allows them to form good and holy friendships. It gives a glimpse of priestly fraternity.”

Fr. Kevin Bordelon, Vocation Director for the Diocese of Lafayette, LA

Read more about the vocation boom in Lafayette, LA.

“The Melchizedek Project has been a huge success since we started it two years ago at Virginia Tech. About a dozen men regularly participate in our sessions, and in just these first two years, five men have headed off to the seminary. Three left college early to enter a college seminary, one graduated and starts studying this fall, and the fifth has moved to a religious house to continue his undergraduate decree and further discern his priestly calling. What a fantastic program!”

Father David Sharland, Virginia Tech

“The Melchizedek Project is extremely beneficial. Even with smaller groups, it gets the men talking about the priesthood, vocations in general, living the faith and desiring holiness. I have found it to aid not simply in fostering vocations but in helping young men deepen a relationship with Christ and the Church.”

Fr. Jon Reardon, University of Massachusetts

“The Melchizedek Project has been a great blessing to our campus, our parish, and our diocese! This past year I had about 15 men who attended the program on our college campus. I probably had 10 men attend regularly. Of those that attended regularly 7 men decided to enter the seminary beginning this fall. 6 of the men will study for the Diocese of Lafayette and 1 is entering into formation with the Jesuits on Friday. I wholeheartedly support this project. Having access to the books has been a great help in the lives of these men and in their discernment of God’s call. Thank you for making this material available at no charge!

Fr. Patrick S. Broussard, The University of Louisiana at Lafayette

“Thank you for the Melchizedek Project which has been very helpful in providing a beginning stepping stone for our diocesan vocations program. The clarity and ease of reading, the entire set-up of To Save A Thousand Souls, has provided an easy model for our priests with limited time and resources to use in walking with those in discernment. Although direct vocations have not yet come from our efforts, the seeds planted have been made stronger. We look forward to growing our discernment groups. Thank you!”

Sister Malia Dominica Wong, OP, Diocese of Honolulu

“We at Fr. McGivney High School had 8-12  young men coming consistently every week and are really still in the building stages. This will be the first year at Fr. McGivney that we have all four grades and will start to be all in with the Melchizedek Project this school year. We will begin using the program and fostering manliness and vocations in our young men. We’re looking forward to seeing what fruit it can bring this school year as I believe that we have some possible young men who have heard that call to the priesthood.

Jason M. Schreder, Fr. McGivney Catholic High School

“The group is going very well. Last year we had about 20 kids participating every Saturday. To Save a Thousand Souls is extremely helpful. We already have a full calendar planned for this year, and we plan to use the books again, to refresh some points, and to expose the new members to them. We are going to loose some kids because they have signed up to be catechists. I don’t consider this a loss, but a good next step for these kids. We are going to invite new members, and see where the Good Lord takes us this year.”

Yolanda Munoz, Atlanta

“Fr. Brannen’s book is excellent. It got our group talking about all the right things: their hopes and fears, understanding what priests do each day, and the spiritual preparation that will help them know God’s will. We had a group of 10 college aged men. We have several seriously considering diocesan priesthood, but none that are ready to enter yet.Thanks for giving us access to this great program.”

Fr. Matthew McMorrow, Illinois University, Dekalb

“Thank you for your assistance with the Melchizedek Project! Thanks to your assistance I started a discernment group with over a dozen boys who were interested in the possibility of a priestly vocation. Most of the boys were sophomores and juniors. We did not have any boys begin the seminary this year, but there are a couple boys who are very interested in the seminary after they graduate. I have so many hopes for our vocations office and your organization has truly helped get the ball rolling.”

Fr. Brian Buettner, Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School in Oklahoma City.

“The Melchizedek Project was great to have starting out this year at our school. Four young men participated and they appreciated the guidance and the help offered in the spiritual life. Only one of the young men was a senior, and I do believe that he will be applying to seminary at some point during his college years. The fruits that I have already seen is that the students are thinking about the priesthood in a real way that they have not done before. This has created questions that they would never have otherwise asked, which, in turn, creates more thinking, more praying, more contemplating the reality of that they may be called to the priesthood. Thank you again for all the work.”

Fr. Nels Gjengdahl, St. Thomas Academy, Mendota Heights, MN

“I am grateful for the Melchizedek Project materials you sent us. We have used them in several meetings with our discernment group of 25-30 young men. We meet about twice a semester on average, and I will often use the books as my first resource in planning the meetings. No one went to seminary from our group last year, but it often takes years to nurture that call. We do have one former group member who is beginning his senior year in college seminary this fall.”

Deacon Bryan Ott, Campus Minister, St. Joseph Academy

“I have found the Melchizedek Project to be very helpful. The Diocese of Winona has used this resource for the past three years in two different locations. This year, we have 4 seminarians who have taken part in the Melchizedek Project. An additional 3 men are in formation for other dioceses or religious orders.”

Fr. Will Thompson, Vocation Director, Diocese of Winona

“Thank you for making To Save a Thousand Souls available to discernment groups. We run a high school discernment program out of our college seminary and through your generosity have been able to supply our upperclassmen with books. It has proven to be a very helpful resource that prompts great discussion and helps many of the high school men understand discernment, seminary life and what the Church looks for in candidates for priesthood. The guys tell me all the time how much the book and our program has helped them understand if the college seminary is a good fit for them. In the last five years, we’ve had 12 men from our program enter the college seminary. Our first from the program is now entering the major seminary. There aren’t very many resources on discernment for diocesan priesthood, and this has become an important tool for vocation work. We greatly appreciate the generosity of Our Sunday Visitor for making these resources available. It is truly making a difference in the lives of our young people seeking to follow God’s will.”

Fr. Mike Scherschel, Chicago

“Four men from our Melchizedek Project are applying to seminary! Please check out this article in the National Catholic Register; when they interviewed me, I mentioned MP and its fruitful role in our vocations. We can’t thank you enough!”

Fr Greg Shaffer, George Washington University

“The Melchizedek Project is awesome! Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to encourage young men to consider what Our Lord is calling them to do regarding their vocation. I thought we were only going to have a few students this year. We actually have 10 men that began meeting this week. The book is awesome and the discussion questions are very good. Thank you and may God bless you and this fantastic ministry.”

Fr. Mike Kuhn, Old Dominion University

“I have been using the materials for our diocesan discernment group, which meets monthly and has some 25-30 participants. It’s worked very well! The material, especially To Save a Thousand Souls is an excellent resource. From these groups I have three men who have applied to enter seminary this Fall.”

Fr. Dan Avila, Diocese of Fresno

“We currently have three men who have been involved with our High-school aged Melchizedek Project who have applied and have been accepted to the seminary for Knoxville.    In particular, one man, who has been on the fence about his vocation for a couple of years now, decided that he needed to apply to the Diocese after the session entitled, ‘God said go, and I said no.’   He called me the next day and said that he had been convicted by what we read and discussed in Fr. Brannen’s book and that he knew the Lord was speaking to him through it.”

Fr. David Carter, Diocese of of Knoxville

“We have had some men express interest in seminary as a result of our discernment group and the books. We have about nine men in the application process. I would venture to say that the book has had a strong impact on several of these men.”

Fr. Burke Masters, Diocese of Joliet

“I wanted to thank you for this great service. I am working with a number of men and women in discernment. The men have really eaten up your book, To Save a Thousand Souls, so I decided to start the discernment book club and also invite other men who have tossed around the idea of priesthood to me but are not quite ready to take any bigger steps. By the way, the guides are great!

Fr. Joseph Minuth, Purdue University

“We have had about 20 participants in the discussion group. We have had such success I am now starting a high school group.”

Fr. Jorge Torres, Diocese of Orlando

“Thank you for the materials for discernment.  As a Vocations Director and Campus Minister, the Melchizedek Project is proving to be an excellent tool.”

Fr. Caleb Vogel, Moscow, Idaho

“There was a great interest (about 12 men) this fall… Two men were applying as the sessions started. A few were seriously open, and in conjunction with a discernment weekend and God’s hidden ways of working, one has applied to his diocese. Three others are still open to the possibility but are still judging the wisdom and strength of God’s call.”

Fr. Kurtis Gunwall, NDSU Newman Center in Fargo, ND

“We have two young men who are going on to seminary this fall after participating in the Melchizedek Project. The book to Save a Thousand Souls is a keeper. I have ten men who continue to read chapters and reflect on their meaning.”

Fr. Ken Glaser

“I wanted to let you know that the response is quite positive to your discussion guide and to the book. We have three discernment groups going in our diocese and they are actually gathering steam in the second semester rather than losing it.”

Fr. David Schatz, Diocese of Dubuque

“We had five men attending regularly and one is applying to seminary. Two others want to apply but are not ready yet.”

Fr. Troy Przybilla, Archdiocese St. Paul and Minneapolis

“Three men have applied to the seminary that have participated in the Melchizedek Project. I have applied to college seminary, one guy has applied to Becket Hall (a discernment house) and the third to a religious order.”

Aaron Kelly, Founder, Walk for Vocations

“As of today, four of our men have applied for seminary. We still have a good number in high school. So those four represent about half of those that could apply. Stay tuned, more may yet!”

Father Paul Noble, Columbus, OH

“Actually one man just began the application process. He is now studying graduate theology but not in a seminary program. We persevere!”

Fr. John Titus, Charleston, IL

“We have been running this project as a discernment group for over a year in our parish.  We have two young men in the seminary and currently we have about 7 or 8 men coming to our regular monthly meetings.”

Fr. Dave Sizemore

“In the Diocese of Winona, we have 4 of 12 active discernment group members who are applying to seminary and one more who plans to apply after his stint with FOCUS.”

Fr. Will Thompson, Diocese of Winona

“Two men from our UW-Milwaukee group are moving on to college seminary! Praise the Lord! Thanks for all of your good work and for helping us with vocations.”

Fr. Luke Strand, Diocese of Milwaukee

“In the time I’ve been conducting the Melchizedek Project my feedback has been very positive. All the students participating have been very faithful in attending the meetings. I now have four men seriously discerning a vocation to the priesthood. These four men are in contact with the diocesan vocation director and have just returned from visiting Mount Saint Mary Seminary to see what seminary is like. I have another couple of young men in the early stages of discernment. No one has formally entered seminary but there is definite interest and we are praying for them. It is a great book and program – one that I truly enjoy facilitating.”

Fr. John Antonelle, University of Connecticut

“Here at Georgia Southern University, we have two men applying to seminary from our discernment group, one for Atlanta and one for our diocese.”

Fr. Brett Brannen, Diocese of Savannah

“We currently have three men who have applied and are currently in the process of being accepted. One has applied with our diocese and two with religious orders.”

Rev. Efrain Bautista, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Vista, CA

“I have one young man who when I gave him the book was planning on being a non-denominational pastor. Since reading the book and other experiences in his life, he has since come home to the Catholic Church. He will be confirmed this summer and feels called to the priesthood. He is 2 years away from graduating so it will be some time before he enter a seminary. He mentions how important the book was in the process. Mother Mary definitely worked through the book in this case.”

Tommy Nelson, Director of Campus Ministry, Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, WI

“We have four guys in our group who have applied to seminary this year, and another one seems to be on the verge of applying.”

Fr Scott Winchel, St. Mary on the Hill

“Three of the five men in our group have applied to seminary.”

Fr. Zach Kautzky, Dowling Catholic High School, Des Moines, IA

“The Melchizedek Project is incredible. This fall, we’ll have nine different groups with about 80 or 90 young men participating.”

Fr. Mke McCandless, Diocese of Cleveland

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