By ROB HERBST
The Catholic Week
MOBILE — The faithful throughout the Archdiocese of Mobile and beyond were able to meet the archdiocese’s 22 seminarians at the third annual Seminarian Summer Gala that debuted Aug. 7.
The gala is a fundraiser to support seminarian education and previous galas have included a dinner, but this year was an online-only event due to COVID-19. Still, the gala allowed anyone on Facebook.com/TheCatholicWeek or mobarch.org to learn about the archdiocese’s seminarians and to financially support the seminarians.
The gala remains online at both sites for those unable to watch when it debuted.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi and Archdiocese of Mobile Vocations Director Fr. Victor Ingalls emceed the event. Along with providing some entertaining banter, the two introduced each seminarian.
Each seminarian also delivered a notable fun fact about himself or showcased a talent.
Archbishop Rodi and Fr. Ingalls hosted the event from the Portier House in downtown Mobile. It was the residence of Bishop Michael Portier, the first bishop of Mobile from 1826-1859.
When Bishop Portier arrived, he didn’t have any priests.
“He knew that he needed priests and good priests,” Archbishop Rodi said during the gala.
“He returned to his hometown (in) France, and he asked seminarians and he asked young priests to please come and build up the Church on the American frontier.”
The recruiting pamphlet was blunt to say the least.
“We offer you no salary, no recompense, no holidays, no pension, but much hard work, a poor dwelling, few consolations, many disappointments, frequent sickness, a violent or lonely death and an unknown grave.
“But they came. And they built up the Church in Mobile.”
While times are different now, the Archdiocese of Mobile still needs priests.
“In 2020, the Archdiocese of Mobile still needs good men to be our priests and to continue to build up the Church, to spread the goodness of Jesus Christ, to bring people to the love of God.”
By ROB HERBST