Bishop celebrates Candidacy Mass for two seminarians

By Tim Lilley

The Message editor

Bishop Joseph M. Siegel, seated at left, accepts Diocese of Evansville seminarians Nathan Folz and Chase Riecker, standing at right, as candidate for Holy Orders during an Aug. 14 Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Evansville. The Message photos by Tim Lilley

Bishop Joseph M. Siegel celebrated Mass Aug. 14 at St. Boniface Parish’s Sacred Heart Church in Evansville, during which Diocese of Evansville seminarians Nathan Folz and Chase Riecker were admitted as candidates for Holy Orders. Nathan and Chase will continue their priestly formation this fall at Saint Meinrad Seminary in St. Meinrad.

Diocese of Evansville Seminarians Nathan Folz, left, and Chase Riecker, stand before Bishop Joseph M. Siegel as he accepts them as candidates for Holy Orders during Mass Aug. 14 at Sacred Heart Church in Evansville.

Nathan is a son of Evansville’s Good Shepherd Parish. Chase is a son of St. Isidore the Farmer Parish in Celestine.

Three priests of the diocese concelebrated with Bishop Siegel. They included Father Tyler Tenbarge, Diocesan Director of Vocations; Father Tony Ernst, Associate Director of Vocations an Pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Vincennes and St. Philip Neri Parish in Bicknell; and Father Zach Etienne, Pastor of Evansville’s Good Shepherd Parish. Seminarians and Deacons Philip Rogier and Caleb Scherzinger assisted. Seminarian Aaron Herrenbruck served as lector.

The Mass also served as a Vigil Mass for the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, and it was the latest in the weekly Monday night Masses at Sacred Heart offered for an increase of vocations in our diocese. Eucharistic Adoration preceded Mass, and Confession was available during Adoration.

During his homily, Bishop Siegel said that Nathan and Chase are continuing their journey along the lifelong path of staying close to Christ. He encouraged them - and everyone in attendance - to model themselves after Mary and continue to live through and provide trust, love and obedience.

Bishop Joseph M. Siegel, center, stands with Diocese of Evansville seminarians Nathan Folz, left, and Chase Riecker, following their Aug. 14 Candidacy Mass.

The bishop thanked Nathan’s and Chase’s parents and their entire families for the love and support they have shown and continue to show for them as they continue their formation for the priesthood. He thanked their parish families for supporting and praying for them, and he thanked everyone across the diocese for their prayers, encouraging them to continue to pray for all our seminarians and for an increase in vocations across our 12 counties.

In closing, Bishop Siegel turned to Nathan and Chase, saying, “Thank you for responding to God’s call.”