With larger ordination classes in 2018 and 2019, the number of seminarians for the Diocese of Little Rock has dropped, but seven new seminarians were welcomed this year to keep the number of seminarians at 26.
At its peak in 2014 the diocese had 46 seminarians.
The new seminarians are:
• Duwan Booker, 22, a member of St. Joseph Church in Conway. He is the son of LaDarius and NaKeisha Chambers.
• Joel Brackett, 21, of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Rogers. He is the son of Burke and Kristi Brackett.
• Christopher Elser, 19, of Christ the King Church in Little Rock. He is the son of Dr. Joe Elser and Angie Elser and brother of Father Stephen Elser of Pocahontas.
• Colton Ketter, 20, of Sacred Heart Church in Charleston. He is the son of Joseph and Sabrina Ketter.
• Hong Dai Nguyen, 24, of the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock. He is the son of Vinh Nguyen and Mai Thi Do.
• Pablo Quintana, 21, of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Magnolia. He is the son of Juan and Clara Quintana.
• Samuel Stengel, 18, of St. Joseph Church in Paris. He is the son of Carl and Jana Stengel.
Elser is attending Assumption Seminary in San Antonio while the other new seminarians are living at the House of Formation in Little Rock and taking classes through Newman University in Wichita, Kan., and UA Little Rock.
Returning seminarians are:
• Deacon Joseph Friend, Nathan Ashburn, John Paul Hartnedy, Emmanuel Torres, Daniel Wendel, Ben Riley, Brian Cundall, Joseph Jones, all of Little Rock
• Cody Eveld of Charleston
• Omar Galván of Fort Smith
• Jonathan Semmler of Hot Springs Village
• Alex Smith of Jacksonville
• Mark Johns and Quinn Thomas of Jonesboro
• Tuan Do, Thomas de Prez and Minh Phong Nguyen of North Little Rock
• Deacon Daniel Velasco of Searcy
• Jaime Nieto of Springdale
Friend and Velasco are scheduled to be ordained priests at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock May 23. Diaconate ordinations will be held in May for Smith, Torres, Riley, Cundall and Galván.
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