By Pamela Seal
Diocese of Lake Charles
The priestly ordinations on June 27 will offer two opportunities for people to invest in Catholic youth and future priests for the Diocese of Lake Charles.
In honor of their upcoming Sacrament of Holy Orders in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, two of the four transitional deacons have established a gift option for anyone wanting to remember them on this historic occasion.
Deacon Samuel Bond, of Our Lady of LaSalette Catholic Church in DeQuincy, has established a seminary burse to accept donations in support of the educational cost of seminarians in the Diocese. Contributions to a burse may be made in honor of someone or in recognition of an event. They may also serve as memorials.
Deacon Andrew DeRouen, of the Cathedral, has established a bestowal to accept donations in support of Camp Karol of Saint Charles Center — the Catholic Youth Retreat Center in the Diocese where young people can learn the mission to seek Christ, live Catholic and ignite the world.
Establishing the bestowal is personal for DeRouen having been a product of youth ministry in the Diocese of Lake Charles. He said he wanted it to be a way that he could contribute back, and not just him but those who love him can also donate, as a means of thanksgiving to a ministry that helped him find his vocation.
“Giving a gift in this way to Camp Karol is like a two for one,” said DeRouen. “Not only are you investing in the future of the Diocesan youth ministry and ensuring that youth in the Diocese are going to grow up in the faith and become good Catholic leaders ..., but you are investing in a consistent ministry opportunity for new priests.”
Camp Karol honors Saint John Paul II whose birth name was Karol Wotjyla. In Polish, his native language, Karol means Charles, underscoring the strong link Camp Karol has to Saint Charles Center.
"Saint John Paul II saw so much potential for faith in the youth,” said DeRouen. “He saw so much beauty in the way that God designed nature and creation, specifically in the human body. I think that’s a message that the world doesn’t get today but really needs to.”
Recognizing the many ways God has blessed him through the seminary burse, Deacon Bond sees the gift alternative as a way others can assist in the formation of future priests.
“It would have been much more difficult for me to make the decision of entering the seminary if I knew that I would have the financial burden of paying for classes and books while not having a fulltime job,” said Bond. “It was a relief for me to know the Diocese was going to cover these expenses.
“To allow people who come after me to have that same kind of freedom of discerning their vocation without this financial burden hanging over their heads is a way for me to pay it forward,” he continued.
Because Bond was on the receiving end of a seminary burse, he was able to offer support for other seminarians in various ways.
He recalls many times being able to treat other seminarians to dinner, for example, to help lighten their load. He also remembers one summer ending up with an abundance of resource materials so he decided to donate a sizeable portion. “I said, ‘give it to a seminarian who needs it.’”
In choosing these two endowments as gift options — the seminary burse for Deacon Bond, and Camp Karol for Deacon DeRouen — they are both helping support seminarians and the youth of the Diocese of Lake Charles.
To contribute electronically to either the burse or bestowal, visit www.lcdiocese.org, click on “Support the Diocese” and select “Seminarian Burse in Honor of Deacon Samuel Bond’s Upcoming Ordination to the Priesthood” or “Camp Karol Bestowment in Honor of Deacon Andrew DeRouen’s Upcoming Ordination to the Priesthood.”
If paying by check, make payable to the Diocese of Lake Charles and mail to P.O. Box 3223, Lake Charles, LA 70602. On the memo line, please note “Deacon Bond’s Burse” or “Deacon DeRouen’s Bestowal.”
Contributions will be included in the annual tax letter from the Diocese of Lake Charles.