“Become fire!” We are looking for men who are not half-hearted but whole-hearted, willing to lay down their lives for others…. We need men who actually believe that sainthood is possible… We need men burning with ardent and gentle zeal …. We need men who understand that a vocation to priesthood begins at the burning bush, before the majesty of God himself.” Are you that man?

Looking to apply?  Click here for Application Forms

Steps Along the Path to Priesthood

The Rite of Admission to Candidacy is a pivotal step in the journey to the ordained priesthood. It is celebrated when a seminarian has reached a maturity of purpose in his formation and has demonstrated the necessary qualifications for ordination. In the presence of the bishop, he publicly expresses his intention to complete his preparation for Holy Orders and his resolve to fully invest himself to that end, so that he will serve Christ and the Church faithfully.  

Lukas Gruber is pictured with The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Columbus and Vice-Chancellor of the Josephinum, and Father Steven Beseau, President/Rector of the Josephinum.

Another step along the way toward ordination for both priests and deacons is the installation as lector and acolyte. In most dioceses around the world, seminarians are the only men formally installed as lectors and acolytes. 


The bishop’s instruction tells them, “You will proclaim the word in the liturgical assembly, instruct children and adults in the faith and prepare them to receive the sacraments worthily. You will bring the message of salvation to those who have not yet received it.”   


When instituting acolytes, the bishop tells them, “You will have a special role in the church’s ministry. The summit and source of the church’s life is the Eucharist, which builds up the Christian community and makes it grow.” The instruction notes that they serve priests and deacons at the altar and also distribute Communion at Mass and to the sick.  

Seminarian Leagon Carlin is installed as lector and acolyte by Bishop LaValley.

Prior to ordination to diaconate or priesthood, the candidate must make his Profession of Faith and take his Oath of Fidelity. 

Leagon Carlin recites his Profession of Faith, using the words from the Creed. Bishop LaValley witnesses this.

Leagon Carlin takes his Oath of Fidelity. Leagon will be ordained a transitional deacon in October when his father is ordained a permanent deacon.

Summer Seminarian Workshop

An essential part of the summer workshop is prayer. Here, Father Carrara leads a Holy Hour with  Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

Of course, they have to eat! The men share meals together during the days.

Bishop LaValley always takes time to be present to the men, to discuss with them and to answer their questions.

This year, one of the guest priests was Father Christopher Looby, pastor of St. Mary’s in Ticonderoga and Our Lady of Lourdes in Schroon Lake

Usually a newly ordained priest will visit with his brothers. Father Matthew Conger celebrates mass for the seminarians along with Father Carrara.

Another wonderful feature of these summer days is the chance to recreate together. Pictured with the men is Msgr. Dennis Duprey, another guest priest this year.

Vocation Director, Father Christopher Carrara, speaks to the recent graduates from the Pontifical College Josephinem.

Permanent Diaconate

What Should I do if I think God is calling me to be a Deacon?

Complete the form below. Once you have submitted the form, Msgr. Robert Aucoin will contact you. 

In 1968 Pope Paul VI, as a result of the Second Vatican Council, reinstituted the office of Permanent Deacon within the hierarchy of the Church. Since that time, more than 17,000 Permanent Deacons have been ordained to service within the Catholic Church in the United States. Within the Diocese of Ogdensburg today, there are 91 such men serving the needs of God’s people. 

The formation program for diaconate begins with the Formation For Ministry program, a two-year program leading to being commissioned as a lay minister for work in the parish. If a man feels called to become a deacon, there are an additional four years of study and spiritual formation leading to ordination. 

Do you have a sense that God may be calling you to this special ministry? Start by visiting with your pastor. He can lead you through the discernment process. For more information, you can contact the  Director of Deacon Formation:  Monsignor Robert Aucoin at

These men have received the call to orders from Bishop LaValley. 
They will all be ordained in October 2021.

Consecrated Life

What is consecrated life?

The term “consecrated” has its roots in Latin and is often translated as “dedicated, devoted as sacred” or “set apart.” A person who is living a “consecrated life” is someone who has dedicated his or her life to God in imitation of Christ and publicly professes poverty, chastity and obedience.

Types of consecrated life:

- Religious life – Religious life is a form of consecrated life that consists of men and women who make specific vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to a religious community. 
- These communities can consist of sisters, nuns, brothers, monks, or religious order priests. The Diocese of Ogdensburg is blessed to have a number of religious communities serving within its boundaries. 
- Consecrated virgins and widows
- Secular Institutes
- Hermetic life 
- Societies of Apostolic Life - members are men or women who live in common without religious vows. They pursue the apostolic purpose of the society and lead lives as brothers or sisters in common according to a particular manner of life. The members strive for the perfection of charity through the observance of their constitutions. There are also societies in which the members embrace the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience by some bond defined in their constitutions. Societies of apostolic life can be clerical or lay, male or female.

The vocation of a religious brother

Franciscan friars conventual


The following are excerpts from the Diocese of Ogdensburg’s FAMILY CATECHESIS FOR THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS:

The Sacrament of Matrimony: The Catholic Vision for Marriage  

"What is marriage? It is a true and authentic vocation, as are the priesthood and the religious life. Two Christians who marry have recognized the call of the Lord in their own love story, the vocation to form one flesh and one life from two, male and female." (Pope Francis, Meeting with the Young People of Umbria, October 4, 2013)   

Marriage Preparation

A question that confronts us: Are couples really prepared for marriage and the life that follows it? 

The three stages of marriage preparation – remote, proximate, and immediate . According to St. John Paul II's exhortation   Familiaris Consortio, marriage preparation is to be seen and put into practice as a gradual and continuous process beginning with the family, the domestic church.   

Remote Marriage Preparation

is a lifelong process that occurs in the family, the domestic church. Christian parents are the first and most important witnesses and educators of their children in the growth of faith, hope and charity. Remote preparation begins “in the womb” and continues throughout childhood, adolescence, and up to the period of engagement. It is based primarily in the family with the assistance of the Church. During this period of preparation, children learn to give and receive love through spiritual and catechetical formation focusing on vocational choices.

Proximate Marriage Preparation  (8-12 months before the wedding).

Proximate marriage preparation builds the foundation for marriage by providing a more specific preparation for the sacrament, presenting marriage as an interpersonal relationship of a man and a woman that has to be continually developed over a lifetime. The Church wants couples to take time to reflect on the holiness of their vocation and on the importance of the step they are about to take. The diocesan marriage preparation program, Pre-Cana, is held at various times in many of the deaneries.

Immediate Marriage Preparation  (10 weeks before the wedding). 

Immediate preparation for the celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony is a part of the larger pastoral responsibility to assist the Christian faithful in preparation for marriage and to support them in living out this sacrament. This preparation should take place in the weeks immediately preceding the wedding. This stage of preparation should include: catechesis on the Rite of Marriage, Liturgy planning, (that is, choice of readings, music, blessings), rehearsal planning, completion of all paperwork and canonical requirements.

Single Life

Perhaps the most misunderstood of the “states of life” is that of the single life. Unfortunately, it gets the least attention as well. All of us, whether married, ordained or consecrated religious, begin as a single person. For many, single life is a transition to something else. However, there are some who choose to be single; they are single by intention, not by accident. Those are the ones truly called to this state of life. While they do not make public vows or promises, these single people are dedicated to the work of Jesus Christ in the world.