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Thursday, September 25, 2008
Diocese of Raleigh launches new vocations poster
Several months ago we began thinking about a theme for our new vocations poster. Providentially the process ended with the above poster. After many hours spent going through archives and cleaning up old pictures in photoshop and getting photos of our seminarians from Paul Tomas, I sent the images over to John D'Amelio with Fabrik Agency and we began crafting this year's poster. We're pretty thrilled with the outcome with the possible exception of the fact that we could certainly use more seminarians - but who couldn't? A slightly edited version of a forthcoming article which will explain the poster in the NC Catholics Magazine is below:
Tomorrow, the Diocese of Raleigh Office of Vocations will be mailing the 2008-2009 Diocesan Seminarians vocation poster to Parish Vocation Liaisons in parishes, missions and schools of the Diocese. This year’s poster, entitled “In the Footsteps of the Tarheel Apostles,” highlights not only the 16 men in formation for the Priesthood in the Diocese of Raleigh, but also the men in whose footsteps they follow. Most prominent on the poster is the Servant of God, Fr. Thomas Frederick Price, as a young seminarian for what was then the Apostolic Vicariate of North Carolina. Fr. Price was the first native North Carolinian ordained to the Priesthood and later became widely known as “The Tarheel Apostle” for his extraordinary missionary zeal. The handwritten text making up the background of the poster is from an actual letter Fr. Price wrote to Bishop Haid, O.S.B., the third Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina, reporting his missionary activities in Eastern North Carolina and mentioning his correspondence with St. Katharine Drexel and her spiritual and financial support of several parishes and schools in the State.
Also featured on the poster is the Apostolic succession of Bishops who have shepherded Catholics in Eastern North Carolina, from Cardinal Gibbons, the First Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina, to Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, the Fifth and current Bishop of Raleigh. Among the Bishops is a photo of a young Fr. Mark Gross, one of the first resident priests in Eastern North Carolina. Fr. Gross was personally responsible for bringing hundreds of people to the faith, and nurturing the faith and vocation of an even younger Thomas Frederick Price.
In the lower left of the poster is a group photo of the seminarians of the Diocese in 1954. The photo highlights not only the men whom today’s seminarians follow, but two prominent African American priests from the Diocese. Msgr. Thomas Hadden was the first black seminarian to attend the North American College in Rome and was the first African American ordained in Rome for the Priesthood in North Carolina in 1958. The following year, Bishop Joseph Lawson Howze was the second African American ordained to the Priesthood in the Diocese of Raleigh and later became the second black priest ordained a Bishop in the United States.
The Office of Vocations hopes the new poster will serve not only as a tool to promote more vocations to the Diocesan Priesthood, but also as an aid to begin teaching the rich history of Religious, Priests and Bishops serving Catholics in the State of North Carolina and the Diocese of Raleigh dating back to the early 1800’s.
Also available upon request is a poster version of a vocations ad that recently ran on the back of the NC Catholics magazine. The “No One is Born a Priest” ad features a young boy from St. Peter’s Church in Greenville, NC, who frequently pretends to celebrate Mass for family and friends. The photo used in the ad was actually taken by his mother on one of these occasions and serves to highlight the words of Pope Benedict XVI on the poster to the effect that religious or priestly vocations are a matter that should be explored and encouraged in families today.
Additionally, new vocations prayer cards with the names and pictures of Raleigh’s Seminarians will be distributed throughout the Diocese via Parish Vocations Liaisons. These too will be available upon request from the Office of Vocations.