Priest to Run Marathon in Denver

A Catholic priest from Colorado is going to be running in a marathon solely for prayers. That’s right, a team of members from a local parish will be running in a Denver based marathon in October. These guys only want people to say prayers for the vocation of priesthood. This is an absolutely amazing thing to see, and it is quite unique as well if you ask me. I think this is such a wonderful thing that is being done, and hopefully the prayers are heard and the Denver area finds more priests.

“A priest in the Archdiocese of Denver is launching an effort to increase prayers for vocations during the city’s upcoming marathon next month, telling CNA that there is a “great need” for vocations and that many young men and women in society “are not responding to the call.”

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon, which will be held on Oct. 17, draws thousands of participants to Colorado’s capital city each year, many of whom run to raise funds for specific causes. Rather than asking for financial pledges, however, Fr. Jim Crisman – director of vocations for the Denver archdiocese – is having runners ask for prayer pledges in the time leading up to the race.

Athletes who have signed up for the Run4Vocations initiative will run in the marathon as part of a relay team. They are asking the faithful to pledge prayers for an increase in vocations to Holy Orders and Consecrated Life within the archdiocese.

“There is a great need in the Archdiocese of Denver for more priests,” Fr. Crisman told CNA in an e-mail on Tuesday. “Additionally there is a great need for more men and women in Consecrated vocations.”

“Today we are witnessing a generous response by many of our young men and women to the Lord’s call to a supernatural vocation,” he wrote. “Even so, there are more who are being called and not responding to the call.”

When asked how many new students have entered the burgeoning Denver seminary, Fr. Crisman said that the “final count for the year is not yet in, but we have about 75 men in formation for the Archdiocese of Denver this year.”

“Archbishop Chaput ordained 5 men last spring and we accepted a dozen new men this fall,” he added. “Things are going well but the need keeps growing.”

Fr. Crisman said that individuals wishing to participate in the event can visit the website …

“When they click on the ‘RUN’ tab at the top of the page, and choose the ‘PRAYER PLEDGES’ button they will be taken to a page where they can register their prayer pledges and join us in asking the Lord for an increase in vocations to Holy Orders and Consecrated Life,” he explained.

In addition, the priest noted, “the page also shows some of the runners involved and gives a short bio on each.” Fr. Crisman remarked to CNA, “we would love to have supporters at the event both cheering and praying. If anyone would like to join the growing list of runners we would welcome that as well.”

When asked what served as his inspiration for starting the Run4Vocations effort, Fr. Crisman explained that the Archdiocese of Washington has a similar program.

“A college friend of mine has run in a marathon there for years raising money for their vocations office,” he said. “Seeing the opportunity to get people more involved in supporting vocations and raising prayer support for our vocation candidates made me begin this program here in Denver.”” – “Denver Priest Plans to Run for Vocations at Upcoming Marathon”, EWTN

Denver Catholic Schools Fight to Remain Open

“Five Catholic elementary schools at risk of losing Archdiocese of Denver funding will remain open and receive financial support this coming school year.

School Superintendent Richard Thompson said all five will receive some level of aid because their efforts to boost enrollment and raise funds “showed promise” enough for the archdiocese to help out one more year.

The schools have planted seeds to become financially self-sufficient but requested time to see them take root, Thompson said.

“They all worked very, very hard,” he said. “People on the fence stepped forward to help. The schools showed enough tangible results we hated to see that clipped. We wanted to partner with them.”

Two of the five schools on the chopping block were Presentation of Our Lady and St. Catherine of Siena. The other three schools have chosen not to release information to the general public about their financial issues, and so the archdiocese will not disclose their identities.

Presentation of Our Lady pastor Ed Poehlmann said he has been heartened by the support of the Catholic community and beyond in keeping his school open for a new year, which begins Monday. A golf tournament over the weekend raised $20,000 for the school, he said.

“We’re doing a lot better,” Poehlmann said.

Thompson said preserving the schools for another year was good news, yet he remained guarded about long-term prospects given recent patterns of lower charitable contributions and declining enrollments.” – “Five Denver Catholic Schools Survive Financial Straits to Stay Open”, DenverPost.com

This article from The Denver Post is a topic that has come up in almost all areas of the US recently. A lot of Catholic schools are struggling to remain open because of smaller numbers of students enrolling. This is to be expected when there is public education available, and Catholic schooling costs extra. Catholic schools can be quite costly, but it is my thinking that they are truly worth the extra money it costs. More schools should begin doing fundraisers such as the golf outing discussed above. This is one of the ways these schools can make a push to remain open. If you would like to read the full text of the article, click here.