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Steve Trosley for November: Vocations belong to the family and parish, too

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Steve Trosley

News that Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West will be expanded to accommodate a steady increase in the number of men interested in becoming priests reminded me that my younger brother will celebrate the 40th anniversary of his ordination next year.

Father Anthony Trosley serves as a diocesan priest in the Diocese of Peoria, Ill. He studied at St. Meinrad Seminary at the Archabbey of the same name in Indiana.

Father Tony’s vocation was always a family affair, and when Wayne Topp, Assistant Director of Vocations, spoke on the role of the parish in cultivating religious vocations at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council meeting Sept. 30, I recalled how my parents went the extra mile to support my brother’s vocation and how they encouraged their other sons to support him as well. When I showed an interest in chemistry, my parents bought me a chemistry set (and repossessed it when I almost blew up the house). Youngest brother Ray thought he was going to be a drummer and so he got a drum kit. That, too, was repossessed. Father Tony received a set of vestments and even an altar built by a local carpenter. We still have that altar in the family.

In our family, my mother’s role was guardian of maintaining the honor of the family name. Father Tony and I were named after our grandfathers; my father often charged us with carrying on the family name and with three sons, he expected the last name to continue for several generations into the future.

Boys being boys, Father Tony endured a brotherly teasing. We told him he was Mom’s “golden ticket” to heaven. Teasing aside, a priest in the family was a great comfort to us when there was a celebration or death. Grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, in-laws and sadly our youngest brother got handed off by Father Tony to the Lord’s angels.

It’s not so for all families. I know of one father who did all he could to discourage his only son’s interest in the priesthood. A few years earlier, the young man had entertained an interest in journalism and the father asked me to help discourage that calling. The Holy Spirit will not be denied – the young man is now an ordained priest who leads his order’s media ministry.

Father Tony’s Mass of Thanksgiving following ordination was well-attended in our home parish. Everyone in the parish took pride in helping him fulfill his vocation. As my Dad said, his vocation belonged to all of us.

There are several stories and a photo collection of our seminarians in this month’s edition of “The Catholic Telegraph.” We hope you will join with Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr and your parish to encourage and support the cultivation of vocations to the priesthood, deaconate, and religious life. Who knows? Maybe there’s a “golden ticket” waiting to be discovered in your family or parish.

In the Print Edition of The Catholic Telegraph

Also in November’s edition of “The Catholic Telegraph,” you will find information on Black Catholic History Month. Deacon Royce Winters, director of the archdiocesan Office for African-American Ministries, has put together some fascinating information on the legacy of African-American Catholics in our archdiocese.

We all should know that the Roman Catholic Church is truly universal. Cincinnati Catholics had the opportunity to learn more about our universality when Maronite Patriarch Moran Mor Bechara Boutros al-Rai of Lebanon
visited here in 2016.

But what of the African-American Catholics who have kept the faith for many generations right here in our midst? Do we really know them, their contributions and their faithfulness?

There are a number of ethnicities in our archdiocese with a lengthy Catholic heritage to celebrate. They all contribute to and are members of the Mystical Body of Christ. They all have a Catholic story to tell and we’re eager to share those stories with you.

Steve Trosley is editor and general manager of “The Catholic Telegraph.”

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