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Ultimate Frisbee Tour a win-win situation for all

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July 28, 2011

By Mike Dyer

ARCHDICOESE — The seminarian Ultimate Frisbee Tour this summer has been a win-win situation for everyone involved.


Seminarians and young people from throught the archdiocese have been participating in the Ultimate Frisbee Tour. (CT/COLLEEN KELLEY)

Between the first two events in late June and mid-July, estimates of more than 100 young people participated overall, according to event organizers. (The final stop was scheduled for July 23 at Precious Blood Parish in Dayton).


The seminarians of the archdiocese participated in the tour with youth and young adults at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary on July 16 and St. Remy Parish in Russia, on June 23. The purpose of the tour was to provide an opportunity for young men and women to meet seminarians in a relaxed atmosphere and talk with them about life and seeking God’s will each day. A Mass and cookout was also scheduled for each gathering. The archdiocesan Vocations Office and Cincinnati Serra Club helped sponsor the tour.


Andrew Cordonnier, a third-year seminarian who developed the idea, said he thought the July event in Cincinnati went well. About 25 young people participated.      


“From my point of view, the event was a success in that some of the youth of the archdiocese were able to see us seminarians in our ‘natural habitat’ at the seminary,” said Cordonnier, who hails from St. Remy Parish. “The witness that we were able to provide as aspirants to the holy priesthood made the event a success, because I think that all young people have the desire and the drive towards something greater. This drive may propel a young person to be a mechanic or a teacher, but if it is God’s will that a young man is called to the holy priesthood or a young woman is called to the religious life, then perhaps all it takes is that authentic witness to Christ to manifest that calling in a young person.” 


“There has been a good deal of positive feedback from the priests and youth directors of the archdiocese in regards to these events, but the true litmus test would be if the number of vocations increases,” Cordonnier said.


Wayne Topp, who serves as association vocation director for the archdiocese, helped Cordonnier line up parishes for the tour. He credited Cordonnier and others for making the tour possible this summer and estimates the stops will increase next year.


“(Cordonnier) has organized the seminarians and has really been the catalyst in putting this whole thing in motion and keeping the ball rolling,” Topp said. “The Serra Clubs in the different regions have also been instrumental in making sure the food was cooked and served to the crowds who have showed up at these events. It has really been a team effort, and the Lord has blessed our efforts.”


One of the participants in the July event in Cincinnati was 16-year-old John Santucci, a member of St. Susanna Parish in Mason


“The game was pretty fun,” said Santucci, who is “enthusiastically” discerning the priesthood. “I think my favorite part, though, was talking to the seminarians at the cookout after the game.”


He added that he saw a lot of interaction between the seminarians and young people and feels it was important for participants to see the human side of the seminarians, especially hearing them make jokes and laugh during the event.


Father Kyle Schnippel, who has been archdiocesan vocation director for the past five years, said 16 seminarians and more than young people were in attendance at the June 23 event at St. Remy.


“The purpose of the event is to provide a low-key event in which teens and young adults can meet our seminarians in a regular environment to interact with one another and slowly introduce the concept that these are men just like any other who have felt a call to something greater,” he explained.


“We then invite the teens to consider where God might be calling them in order that they, too, might respond to His invitation.”  

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