More than $500,000 raised for seminarians

Published: September 23, 2019

Four Taste of Faith events were held this summer that raised more than $500,000 for seminarians in the Diocese of Little Rock. Each event included dinner, musical performances and testimonials from seminarians, vocation talks, a video and door prizes. Participants donated the following in northeast, northwest and central Arkansas:

  • $59,500 — Taste of Faith DinnerSacred Heart of Jesus Church in Hot Springs Village, June 8
  • $53,318 — Taste of Faith Dinner, St. Bernards Auditorium in Jonesboro, June 29
  • $84,353  — Taste of Faith Dinner, Four Points by Sheraton in Bentonville, Aug. 3
  • $307,170.26 — Taste of Faith Dinner, Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock, Aug. 10

Proceeds from the Hot Springs Village event went to the Msgr. James O'Connell Seminarian Fund while the rest will be used for immediate seminarian costs such as tuition, insurance, food and lodging. The diocese has 26 seminarians, making the need for educational funds a top priority. It costs an estimated $36,000 a year to educate one seminarian for the priesthood. If you would like to support seminarian education, you may donate online or contact the Vocations and Seminarians Office at (501) 664-0340.

This fall the diocese accepted seven new seminarians. They are: Duwan Booker, of St. Joseph Church in Conway; Joel Brackett, of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Rogers; Christopher Elser, of Christ the King Church in Little Rock, brother of Father Stephen Elser; Colton Ketter, of Sacred Heart Church in Charleston; Hong Dai Nguyen, of the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock; Pablo Quintana, of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Magnolia; and Samuel Stengel, of St. Joseph Church in Paris, nephew of Father Mark Stengel, OSB, and Father Josh Stengel. To learn more, read Arkansas Catholic or visit our seminarian directory and click on a seminarian's photo to find out how he has experienced God calling him to priesthood.