By Carolina Scipioni

On Saturday, July 11th, the organizing committee of the Rev Up the Sems Virtual Fun Run hosted a “Thank You Rally” to express their gratitude for the incredible support they received from the community during the four weeks of the event.

While the Virtual Fun Run does not end until July 15th – Hint, hint…there is still time to REGISTER HERE! – they wanted to take advantage of the weekend to allow supporters to “drive through” the finish line. A portion of the program was also live-streamed through the Vocations Facebook page for people to participate from home.

Fr. Ritche Bueza, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of San Jose, began by thanking all participants, pledge donors, and sponsors for their support of this important fundraising event that assures the best possible formation of our seminarians. Following Fr. Ritche’s presentation, Bishop Oscar Cantú added his words of gratitude and led the community in prayer to Create a Culture of Vocations. He also asked that we continue to pray for new vocations and for the continued formation of all our existing seminarians.

Many parishioners drove through to say hello, and a few shared with us their excitement and love for vocations.

Dan Lesieutre, a graduate of ILM and parishioner of St. Christopher Parish, and his wife, usually take daily walks. However, this month, they walked with a particular purpose: to support vocations in our diocese. Dan shared that vocations inspired the many priests that he was blessed to know over the years. More importantly, vocations inspired his parents, who exemplified the vocation of marriage. Dan expressed gratitude for all of these people, their vocations, and how they positively impacted his life.

Mawuko Nyuiadzi is a parishioner at Holy Family Parish and leader of the group named Catholics of African Descents of the Diocese of San Jose. He stopped by to show his support on behalf of all the members of the group. Mawuko shared how pleasantly surprised he was when he sent an email to the group on Monday to promote the Rev up the Sems Virtual Run, and by Friday, he had received $700 in pledges. “It is a good way to show our support for future vocations and our appreciation for the vocations we have today,” Mawuko shared.

When asked about what parish she belongs to, Elizabeth Ferreras smiled and said “parish-es” – She considers herself a parishioner of both St. Francis of Assisi and Santa Teresa. Elizabeth set a goal to break her own pledges record from last year… and she did it! When driving by, she proudly showed her trophy from last year when she was named “Participant with the most funds raised.” She raised $1,750 in 2019, and this year she has already raised over $2,000. She is a big supporter of vocations and firmly believes that our priests can help engage our youths and lead them into becoming good Christian citizens.

And finally, we had a visit from an adorable supporter representing St. Julie Parish. With his owner, he walked over 15 kilometers, the equivalent of three 5K races, to support vocations since the Rev Up the Sems challenge started. Please meet our furry friend: Bevo. At 12-year-old (84 human years), this fantastic rescue dog can no longer run, but was a trooper in his walks!

If Bevo did it, you can too!!! There are still 3 days left to run, walk, skip, hop, jump or dance for vocations. Your pace, your space! REGISTER or PLEDGE today!