Seminarians part of pastoral program at St. Maria Goretti

November 18, 2012
  • From left, seminarians Jeff Ellis, Paul Kuhn and Patrick Parks are part of the Pastoral Field Education Program at St. Maria Goretti High School.
Submitted photo

St. Maria Goretti High School announced that three seminarians from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary are participating in Goretti’s religion classes this year.

Paul Kuhn, Jeff Ellis and Patrick Parks are in their third year of priestly formation, which requires seminarians to participate in the Pastoral Field Education Program as part of their studies.

Each of the seminarians brings a unique perspective to building one’s faith.

Ellis, 35, a former software engineer for the Central Intelligence Agency, said he got the calling after Sept. 11, 2001, and later watched a vocation video that helped him realize his dream of joining the priesthood.

Parks, 50, on the other hand, had aspirations of becoming a priest from a very young age. However, he went on to get married and raised a son, now 21. He decided to wait until his child became an adult and was independent to enter the seminary.

Kuhn, 25, the youngest of the three, was in college and still deciding on careers to pursue from becoming a probation officer to a radiology technician when he met priests at his school’s Newman Center (a Catholic ministry center) who he said brought his faith to life.


The goal of the program is for seminarians to understand more about how Catholic schools operate and to help students shape and understand their faiths by discussing questions and thoughts with the seminarians in class.

Theresa Doub, head of the religion department at Goretti, expressed the importance of the program at Goretti.

“This program offers great benefit to both the seminarians and our students. While the seminarians gain an important understanding of what it takes to both manage a Catholic school and teach in the classroom, our students have the opportunity to connect with — and be a witness to — men who have made the bold commitment to live their lives completely for Christ through service to His church,” Doub said.

The seminarians participate in Goretti’s religion classes each Monday, interacting with students in all grades — nine through 12.

Goretti is a Catholic, coeducational, college preparatory high school off Oak Hill Drive in Hagerstown.

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