Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M., Cap. will ordain three men to the Catholic priesthood on Saturday, May 12 at 10 am at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, including one cancer survivor.
Deacons Randy Dollins, 30, Steven Voss, 28, and Timothy Hjelstrom, 31, will culminate nearly eight years of Catholic study at the Archdiocese of Denver’s St. John Vianney Theological Seminary.
Voss, a native of Lakewood, CO, experienced the call to the priesthood soon after being diagnosed with cancer. Shortly after recovering from major surgery, he explored seminary life and, within months, enrolled at St. John Vianney. “It has been a grace-filled and peaceful fit,” says Voss. “As for my cancer…I last had surgery in 2003…and have enjoyed fine health since.”
Dollins, raised in Aurora, CO, worked as a graphic designer for a local sportswear company for nearly five years before exploring the priesthood. A year of missionary work confirmed his priestly calling. “I realized that work paid the bills but that ministry filled me up and made me a better person,” said Dollins. “I was grabbed by God for my vocation [to the priesthood].”
A national survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, revealed a national average age of 35 for the 475 deacons entering the Roman Catholic priesthood this year.
The study also revealed a highly educated class of ordinands, with more than 60 percent completing college before entering seminary. Many of the men went on to complete advanced degrees in law, medicine, and education.