Three St. Louis Seniors Accepted to Seminary for Diocese of Lake Charles
By Pamela Seal
Diocese of Lake Charles
Three new seminarians for the Diocese of Lake Charles have been accepted by Bishop Glen John Provost, according to the Office of Vocations.
Michael DesOrmeaux, Julian Jones, and Liam Leonard — all from the St. Louis Catholic High School Class of 2021 — will begin their studies at St. Joseph Seminary College in Saint Benedict near Covington in the fall. With the new additions, this brings the total to eight men in various stages of formation for the priesthood in the diocese.
Michael is the 18-year-old son of David and Courtney DesOrmeaux of Moss Bluff, and his home parish is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Lake Charles. He is the oldest of five children.
Julian, a parishioner of St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church, is the 18-year-old son of Dawn Walker of Lake Charles and the late Shannon Brown.
Liam is the 17-year-old son of Kevin and Cathy Leonard of Sulphur, and his home parish is Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church. He is the youngest of three children.
God’s call to the priesthood for each of these young men became obvious to them in various ways.
“There were a lot of times in my life when things were hard or didn’t seem like it would have a good outlook,” said Liam. “Priests showed me how to rely on God. I want to be that person for others.” Liam credits Father D.B. Thompson with being an influence on his decision to apply for seminary entrance.
“Just before Hurricane Laura, I was helping Father Thompson down in Creole,” he recalled. “I had been thinking about the priesthood for a while, but seeing him down in that community helping others, he had sort of a oneness with the people that really opened my heart up to the idea.”
Julian grew up serving the church and was always aware of how happy priests are. He said he wanted to experience that kind of happiness. It was his sophomore year in high school when he felt the tug on his heart to discern the priesthood.
“I had the same dream twice where I was celebrating Mass as a priest,” he remembers. “When I shared the dream with Father (Sam) Orsot, he told me that I should take that as a sign from God that He is calling me to be a priest. Then one day during Mass, I saw myself on the altar as a priest. I thought I was seeing things, but I took that also as a sign from God.”
Michael knew he would only be happy doing God’s will. It was something his parents instilled in him throughout his life. “I always had a general openness to whatever God’s will was for me, but it wasn’t until I made the St. Ben’s Come and See Vocation Discernment Weekend during my sophomore year when I was convinced of what God was asking of me,” he said. “While I was there, I felt a deep peace overwhelm me, deeper than anything I had ever known before. Since then, priesthood has been my focus.”
Liam enjoys reading, spending time with family, and learning to play the piano. He said he would do more fishing if he was any good at it. His favorite saint is Blessed Karl of Austria. “We live in an era where leaders don’t often stand for Christian values. We also live in an era where we have a decline of father figures. Blessed Karl is an excellent example of both,” said Liam. “We need leaders like him in our times.”
A few of Julian’s favorite pastimes are photography, listening to music, and being with his friends and family. His favorite saint is St. Sebastian. “In high school and middle school, I played a variety of sports,” he said. “My grandmother, Sandra Jones, told me I should pray to St. Sebastian because he is the patron saint of athletes. Over the years, I have grown to admire him.”
Michael enjoys reading and spending time with friends. He especially loves theology, which is one reason he is drawn to St. Thomas Aquinas as his favorite saint. “He was brilliant. To see this tremendous voice of reason and see him articulate theology so well is wonderful.”
Seminarians continuing in their formation to the priesthood for the Diocese of Lake Charles are Josh Page from Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church, Sulphur; Treville Belcher, Garrett Broussard, and Hunter LaRocca, all from Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, Lake Charles; and Philip Seilhan, from Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church, Jennings. Their summer parish assignments are: Page and Seilhan — Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; Belcher — Our Lady Help of Christians; Broussard — St. Pius X Catholic Church in Ragley; and LaRocca — Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church.
Anyone interested in a vocation to the priesthood is encouraged to contact Father Jeffrey Starkovich, Vocation Director, at jeffrey.starkovich@lcdiocese.org.