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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.

LAKE CHARLES -- Tolton: From Slave to Priest, the live theatrical one-man drama performed by actor Jim Coleman and directed by Leonardo Defilippis of Saint Luke Productions, will be presented in the gymnasium at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8 and 9, beginning at 7 p.m. each day.

Admission will be a free-will offering and the event is being coordinated in the Diocese of Lake Charles by Deacon Edward Lavine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (337) 439-2646.

Tolton: From Slave to Priest is a powerful new live production based on the life of Father Augustus Tolton, the first African American priest. This compelling true story of courage, forgiveness, and reconciliation resonates deeply with modern American audiences. Bishop Joseph Perry of Chicago, postulator for Fr. Tolton’s canonization cause, is calling Tolton a production that will “inspire a new era of peace, hope and forgiveness in America.”

It is a riveting multimedia drama not to be missed, running 75 minutes and suitable for middle school age and older.

To characterize Fr. Augustus Tolton’s life as remarkable is an understatement. He was born a slave on a Missouri farm in 1854, and his mother risked everything to reach freedom in Illinois with her three small children. After settling in the town of Quincy, Illinois, the family continued to experience hardships and prejudice.

In spite of this, he persevered in his deep desire to become a Catholic priest. When every seminary in the United States rejected him, he did not give up, and was finally ordained in Rome. Upon his return to Illinois, Fr. Tolton worked tirelessly to serve people of all races, especially the former slaves who flocked to Chicago.

Fr. Tolton saw the Catholic Church as the antidote to the discrimination and rejection that he experienced in his own life. “It was the priests of the Church who taught me to pray and to forgive my persecutors,” he said. “We should welcome all people into the Church, not send them away.”

At the young age of 43, Fr. Tolton died after collapsing from heat exhaustion in Chicago. Now his cause for sainthood is moving forward, as more and more people are beginning to recognize the humble perseverance, courage, and compassion of this extraordinary man.

The actor portraying Fr. Tolton, Jim Coleman, is excited and honored to be playing the role. Prior to his acting career, he served in the U.S. Army as a medic.

       Jim Coleman

Having appeared in more than 50 national commercials, Coleman is best known for his role of Roger Parker in the hit Nickelodeon show My Brother and Me. “Father Tolton’s story needs to be told,” he said. “As a black man, this very important part of history is something that I want the world to hear about. I truly feel blessed to be the one to share Father Augustus Tolton with all who will listen!”

Jim and his wife Robin reside in Florida; they are the proud parents of six children.  

For nearly 40 years, Saint Luke Productions has been creating inspiring live dramas, films, radio programming, and more. Their productions on the Gospels and the lives of the saints, including the acclaimed feature film Thérèse, have been seen by millions of people worldwide. For more information about Saint Luke Productions, visit www.stlukeproductions.com.


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