The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Vocations 2020: Brothers in faith and calling

Despite the uncertainty in the world amid COVID-19, two men are certain of their call from God, making the step toward priesthood in mid-August. In this section: read about the Taste of Faith virtual event and how you can help form our future priests; the faith journeys of Deacon Daniel Velasco and Deacon Joseph Friend; former college football teammates who grew in faith together and are now seminarians; and a reflection about seminarian Daniel Phillips, who died in a car accident in 2012. 


Friend grew up knowing priesthood is 'something joyous'

By Malea Hargett, Published: August 11, 2020   

As a new priest, Joseph Friend says he wants to keep the social justice issues of racial inequality and prison ministry at the heart of his work. Friend, younger brother of Father Patrick Friend and nephew of Msgr. Scott Friend, is ready to apply what he learned while writing his final thesis for seminary as he begins his priestly ministry. “A couple of years ago I got really intrigued with our Black Catholics in Arkansas and the More... 

Mary’s hand guides Velasco on his path to priesthood

By Dwain Hebda, Published: August 10, 2020   

It doesn’t take much thought on Deacon Daniel Velasco’s part to pinpoint what brought him from skeptical discerner to the threshold of ordination. At every step on his vocational journey, there’s been one figure most conspicuously guiding his steps: the Virgin Mary.  “One interesting fact, when I submitted my documents to the diocese back in 2014, it was the day of the Annunciation,” he said. “And I remember that morning, when I was doing my prayers, More... 

Hearts of two Hendrix football players moved to seminary

By Aprille Hanson, Published: August 7, 2020   

While studying and playing football together at Hendrix College in Conway, Duwan Booker and Joel Brackett had an understanding: they would both be Catholic or Protestant.  From initially living a party lifestyle to faith on autopilot, the two grew in faith as friends, and followed the call to the priesthood at the House of Formation in Little Rock. “It just really points to nothing but the presence of the Holy Spirit in both of our lives and More... 

Taste of Faith will be virtual talk show on Aug. 8

Published: August 6, 2020      

The annual Taste of Faith dinners are going virtual this year with a live one-hour program online at 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 8. The talk-show-style program will be hosted by Msgr. Scott Friend, vocation director, and will include interviews with the diocese’s soon-to-be newest priests, Deacon Joseph Friend and Deacon Daniel Velasco, who will be ordained Aug. 15. Seminarians living at the House of Formation will be introduced and one of them will share a recipe.  One More... 

Reflection: Seeing God’s providence on ordination day

By Catherine Phillips, Published: August 5, 2020   

God works in such mysterious ways. Eight years ago my son Daniel and his friend Joseph entered Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas and began their journey to the priesthood as seminarians for the Diocese of Little Rock.  Daniel’s path to God ended up being more direct. He was killed in a car accident during his first year at seminary. Shortly after that, however, another young man also named Daniel became a seminarian for our diocese. Together, Joe More...