The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Diocese welcomes four men to study, discern priesthood

Four new seminarians accepted for fall 2017; large ordination planned for May

Published: August 28, 2017   

The Diocese of Little Rock accepted four men as seminarians for fall 2017 and is preparing for one of its largest ordinations in its history in May.

The new seminarians are:

• Tuan Khac Anh Do, 21, St. Patrick Church, North Little Rock. Do, son of Thu Khac Do and Suong Thi Nguyen, will live at the House of Formation and study English.

• John Marconi, 23, Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Crawfordsville. Marconi, son of Tim and Andrea Marconi, will attend St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana.

• Jonathan Semmler, 19, Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Hot Springs Village. Semmler, son of Michael and Susan Semmler, will live at the House of Formation and attend classes through the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

• Aubrey Volpert, 18, Immaculate Conception Church, North Little Rock. Volpert, son of Alex and Zana Volpert, will also live at the House of Formation and study at UA Little Rock.

One seminarian, Deacon Nelson Rubio of Hot Springs Village, is set to be ordained a priest Dec. 16.

The largest ordination in the diocese since 1955 will be held May 26 when eight seminarians will become priests. It will be 63 years ago that the diocese hosted an ordination at the Cathedral of St. Andrew for 12 men, eight for the Diocese of Little Rock and four for Subiaco Abbey. None of those eight priests are still living or serving in the diocese.

The new priests will be:

• Deacon Michael Johns, Blessed Sacrament Church in Jonesboro

• Deacon Daniel Ramos, Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, North Little Rock (Marche)

• Deacons Jeff Hebert and Tuyen Do, Cathedral of St. Andrew, Little Rock

• Deacons Patrick Friend, Joseph De Orbegozo and Stephen Elser, Christ the King Church, Little Rock

• Deacon Keith Higginbotham, St. Anne Church, North Little Rock

Other seminarians are:

• Nathan Ashburn, John Paul Hartnedy, Martin Amaro, Jon Miskin, Emmanuel Torres, Joseph Friend, Daniel Wendel, Ben Riley and Brian Cundall, all of Little Rock

• Omar Galvan of Fort Smith

• Mark Johns of Jonesboro

• Jaime Nieto of Springdale

• Alex Smith of Jacksonville

• Daniel Velasco Perez of Searcy

• Tito Zarate of Dardanelle

One man, Cody Eveld, 21, of Sacred Heart Church in Charleston, is currently a “discerner” living at the House of Formation and studying at UALR.

The number of seminarians studying for the diocese dropped this year to 28, down from 34 last year.

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