Welcome to the Diocese of Lake Charles
2018-2019 DOLC Seminarians

Thirteen Men Return To Seminary Studies

The 2018-2019 class of men continuing their discernment and training for the priesthood for the Diocese of Lake Charles is one of its largest and each man has been assigned to various seminaries by Bishop Glen John Provost. The Bishop, seen center in the above photo, is seated with the class. Seated with him are, from left, Andrew DeRouen, Joseph Caraway, Deacon Michael Caraway, and Levi Thompson. Standing, from left, are Michael Beverung, Alec January, Josh Page, Conner Chaisson, Samuel Bond, Treville Belcher, Lai Nguyen, Olin Scot Chester, and Garrett Broussard. Belcher, Chaisson, and Broussard are the three newest men accepted by Bishop Provost for entry into the seminary. Deacon Michael Caraway, who will return to the Pontifical North American College in Rome following his fall internship, was ordained to the diaconate in June. He will join three other men, at the PNAC - Andrew DeRouen, Joseph Caraway, and Levi Thompson. Deacon Caraway will be completing his fourth year of theological study while the trio are in their third theological year. They, along with Sam Bond, studying at Notre Dame Seminary College in New Orleans, are expected, with God’s grace, to be ordained next June to the transitional diaconate by Bishop Provost. The priestly ordination of Deacon Caraway is expected at the same time.

New seminarians, Treville Belcher and Garrett Broussard, both in First Year Pre-Theology at Notre Dame Seminary and Conner Chaisson in First Year College at St. Joseph Seminary College. Alec January and Josh Page are in their fourth year of philosophy study at St. Joseph. Also, at Notre Dame Seminary will be Michael Beverung in second year theology, Lai Nguyen in second year pre-theology, and Olin Scott Chester in first year theology. The men represent 10 church parishes of the diocese – Michael Beverung – Our Lady Queen of Heaven; Sam Bond – Our Lady of LaSalette, DeQuincy; Levi Thompson – St. Theodore, Moss Bluff; Joseph Caraway – St. Charles Borromeo, Fenton and its mission, St. John the Evangelist, Lacassine; Andrew DeRouen – Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; Lai Nguyen, Garrett Broussard, and Treville Belcher – all Our Lady of Good Counsel; Deacon Michael Caraway – Our Lady Help of Christians, Jennings; Alec January – St. Philip Neri, Kinder; Olin Scott Chester – St. Joseph, Vinton; and Josh Page and Conner Chaisson – both Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Sulphur. Rev. Jeffrey Starkovich, the pastor of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Ragley, serves as Director of Seminarians and Vocations for the diocese, overseeing the education, training, and discernment of these men. Additionally, before their return to school, three seminarians – Olin Scott Chester, Michael Beverung, and Sam Bond - were accepted by Bishop Provost to Candidacy for Admission to Holy Orders. The Rite of Admission is celebrated when a seminarian has reached a maturity of purpose regarding his vocation and has shown the necessary qualities for ordained ministry. Through this liturgical rite, a seminarian makes a public intention of receiving Holy Orders and resolves to continue his preparation, in mind and spirit, in order to give faithful service to Christ and His Church.

As stewards of a nearly $6.8 million operating budget, the Diocese of Lake Charles is just able to fund its ongoing missions and obligations. However, given that revenue the diocese receives is already earmarked each year, it is difficult for the diocese to invest in needed strategic priorities without an extraordinary effort.

The Bishop’s Services Appeal and parish assessments provide a base level of funding that allows the diocese ministries, offices and programs to do their good work from year to year. The Return to the Lord Capital Campaign will focus on long-term, strategic priorities that can only be addressed through an extraordinary effort. Together, the two efforts will strengthen our parishes and ministries this year and for years to come.
The goals of this campaign would take decades, if ever, to complete within the regular budget process. That is why extraordinary support is needed. The diocese is dedicated to making sure parishioners are confident that all funds the diocese receives, whether through the Bishop’s Services Appeal, Return to the Lord Capital Campaign or any other gifts, will be used prudently and effectively as the diocese has an independent party conduct annual audits.
Reverend Ruben Buller, Secretary for the Ministry of Administration of the diocese, said, “The one-time gifts and payments on pledges we receive for the capital campaign are going into a separate designated fund, not the general fund of the diocese. That way we can ensure transparency and accountability when it comes to things such as crediting parishes for all of their gifts or making sure a donor that designates their gift to go to only one or two of the campaign’s goals are respected. This isn’t an easy task for a small staff like ours, but it’s necessary to respect the will of the donors and ensure the goals are funded appropriately.”
The Return to the Lord Capital Campaign is a landmark effort to raise $16 million for priests, parishes and ministries. It will begin later this year. Each parish will take part in the campaign during one of three waves and has been provided information on their start date. If you want to know more about the campaign, please contact your parish or the diocesan Stewardship and Development Office at 337-439-7400.

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