Friends of Seminarians


Diocese > Vocations

 Friends of Seminarians

Four diocesan seminarians got a taste of life in a parish during summer assignments. Christopher J. Pujol and Craig E. Alexander worked under the supervision of Father Alan N. Polczynski, pastor of Christ, Prince of Peace Parish, Ford City, and St. Lawrence Parish, Cadogan. Andrew J. Hamilton and David M. Slusarick worked under the supervision of Msgr. Michael J. Begolly, pastor of the three parishes in New Kensington, Mount St. Peter, St. Joseph and St. Mary of Czestochowa. Here they discuss their experiences.



A summer assignment is important for many reasons — to be among the people and accompany them in their everyday lives, whether that be in the joys and sorrows of life or just the average day.

We lived in the parish with people who we might serve one day. At Mount St. Peter, St. Joseph and St. Mary of Czestochowa, we were able to walk with parishioners, go to daily Mass with them, help out in the community and later maybe have a meal with them.

It is important as seminarians to be in a parish for the summer because we learn from the pastor. We take what we have learned in the seminary and implement that in the parish, to see how we can actually live out the vocation we are seeking.


This summer we’ve been involved in the daily life of the parish, assisting at Mass each day and at first Communions, confirmations, funerals and baptisms. We have been the sacristan or server, or minister of holy Communion and lector. We have also seen how the pastor navigates some tough issues and sat in on meetings of the new advisory council for the three parishes, sometimes offering the prayers. We called families to check on them and let them know that the Church cares about them and see if they need anything, with a particular focus on the homebound.

We help at the Community Clothes Closet, and each Thursday we are at the Knead Café, a food ministry started by two parishioners of Mount St. Peter. It’s a community gathering place. Everyone is welcome at the table, and the food is very good! We help unload the truck there on Thursday mornings and prepare the produce which is then distributed to families who may need some extra help with food.


It was wonderful to watch Father Alan interact and get to know the people of the parish. I was doubly blessed because I was assigned there with Chris Pujol. I was grateful for the time and effort he put forth to show me how to serve at Mass.

Father Alan, as the dean, was given all the Holy Oils for the parishes in the deanery. Chris and I delivered them, which was wonderful for me, not being from the diocese originally. I saw many churches that I had never been to before. I also joined the other seminarians to help at the high school Vocations Discernment Day. We spent the day with 12 young men sharing prayer, talk and vocation stories.


It was a blessing to work with the children and the parents of the first holy Communion class, preparing them virtually for their first reconciliation. It was a blessing to have a summer assignment during the quarantine and move forward with what the church is asking each of us to do. This summer has taught me a lot about priestly ministry, which is living the life of Christ and carrying him out into a world that is so fearful and anxious. The Church continues to move because the love of Christ is a beating heart that each of us are called to follow.

It was a joy to be assigned with Craig Alexander and a treasure to be at two parishes to see how they live and work together to form a community of faith. It was my second summer working with Father Polczynski, who is a wealth of knowledge and information for future priests.


 Follow Our Seminarians

Send your contact information to the Office for Priestly Vocations and you will receive updates about our seminarians' journey!

 Please pray for our seminarians and those discerning the priesthood

Pujol Christopher PujolThird Theology
Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood
Hamilton Alexander HamiltonSecond Theology
Saint Vincent Seminary
Slusarick David SlusarickFirst Theology
Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood
Alexander Craig AlexanderFirst Theology
Saint Vincent Seminary
Richardson Kevin RichardsonPre-Theology I
Saint Mark Seminary
Zawelensky Jeremy ZawelenskyCollege II
Saint Mark Seminary
Lentz Zachary LentzCollege I
Saint Mark Seminary

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy will”
(Luke 1:38)

When Bishop Malesic arrived in the Diocese of Greensburg five years ago, he identified the promotion of vocations as one of his top priorities. Throughout the past several years, the Office for Priestly Vocations has worked with clergy and the laity of the diocese in creating a “Culture of Vocations.” This past year, the priests of the diocese participated in a two-day workshop on promoting vocations within the parish community. They were asked to identify a core team within their parish to attend similar training. Over 115 participants, representing 68% of our parishes, participated. These core teams are now working in the parishes to foster vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life, marriage, and single life. This is one example of how we are working together to create a “Culture of Vocations” within our diocese. We must remember that God is calling all people to offer their lives back to Him in a particular way.

Today, I am asking you to help me continue the momentum that Bishop Malesic started to make vocations a priority throughout the diocese. On September 8, the Church remembers the gift of Mary on her nativity. As we celebrate the birthday of Mary, I am asking for two things. First, please pray for the intercession of Mary for those discerning God's call in their lives. I genuinely believe that our prayers to Mary asking for her intercession will assist those struggling to hear God's call. Mary knows how to listen, and she will help others do the same.

The second favor is that you consider supporting the Seminarian and Clergy Formation Collection. These are difficult times as we face the many challenges presented by the coronavirus. I realize some of your circumstances have been radically affected by COVID-19. Prayerfully consider making a gift if your circumstances allow. And, if possible, consider the Lord's call to be generous.

The annual Seminarian and Clergy Formation Collection supports the training of our seminarians and candidates for the permanent diaconate. It provides for the ongoing education of our priests and permanent deacons. This collection also supports our International Priests Program.

Mary is often referred to as Mary, Queen of Clergy. We turn to Mary, asking for her intercession for all those discerning her Son's call in their lives. May the words of Mary also be the words spoken by each of us, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy will.”

fos_fr_tyler_transparent.pngIn Christ’s Love,
Fr. Tyler J. Bandura
Director, Office of Priestly Vocations