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September 27, 2017 | 9:00am – 10:15am

Spiritual Practices

Spiritual practices to assist the vocation director to remain grounded in his priesthood.

Rev. Mark Toups

Ordained in 2001, Fr. Mark Toups is a priest for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in south Louisiana, where he currently serves as Vicar General, Coordinator of Diocesan Strategic Planning, and Administrator of the Cathedral of Saint Francis de Sales. During his 16 plus years of priestly ministry, Fr. Toups has over seven years of experience as a pastor, as well as seven years of experience in recruiting in the Vocations Office, 12 years of experience as a Director of Seminarians, and over 13 years of experience working with priests and seminarians through the Institute for Priestly Formation. Fr. Toups is also an adjunct faculty member of the Institute for Priestly Formation, where he has served as a professor of Spiritual Theology, spiritual director, and program coordinator for the Spiritual Exercises, 30-day retreat. He is the author of Oremus: A Catholic Guide to Prayer – an 8-week teaching on the basics of prayer, as well daily meditation resources such as Theotokos, Nativity, Nazareth, and Journey to Jerusalem. He received his Master’s of Divinity from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. A college graduate of Nicholls State University, he is a native of Houma, LA.

Discerning Questions

Who are you looking for? Learning to ask the right questions of men discerning the priesthood. Knowing year appropriate questions that will establish the maturity of both an applicant and a current seminarian.

Rev. Msgr. Robert Panke

Robert Panke, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, is the Rector of the Saint John Paul II Seminary in Washington, DC. and former President of NCDVD. He is also the Director of Clergy Formation for the Archdiocese of Washington and oversees the formation for seminarians, the continuing formation for priests, and the formation for candidates to the permanent diaconate. Msgr. Panke also served as Director of Priest Vocations and Formation for the Archdiocese of Washington for nine years. Prior to his work in vocations, he served as Parochial Vicar at St. Peter’s in Olney, MD and was the Chaplain of the Newman Center for George Washington University. Msgr. Panke earned his Licentiate in Spiritual Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome after receiving his B.A. in Financial Management from The Catholic University of America. Monsignor Panke has served as an Archdiocesan Consultor, as President of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors and as a member of several boards and councils including the Institute for Priestly Formation.

Art of Accompaniment

Do you know Him to be worthy? The art of accompaniment: mentoring young people from conversion to configuration.

Rev. Christopher Martin

Fr. Martin was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Louis in 2006. He spent his first five years as a parochial vicar at a parish before being named vocation director in 2011. In 2012 he opened and became director of the Kolbe House, a house of discernment for men who are discerning priesthood. In 2016 Archbishop Carlson appointed him as Vice-Rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. Fr. Martin is the President of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors and also currently serves as a national board member for Life Teen International, as well as, a team member for the Steubenville Youth Conferences.