Saint Rose of Lima parishioner to enter the Congregation of Paulists in Washington, D.C.

Friday, Jul. 19, 2013
Saint Rose of Lima parishioner to enter the Congregation of Paulists in Washington, D.C. + Enlarge
Evan Cummings

CLEARFIELD — Evan Cummings will enter the Congregation of the Paulists’ House of Formation in Washington, D.C., the end of August.

Cummings is a Saint Rose of Lima parishioner and a 2009 graduate of Saint Joseph Catholic High School. He also attended Saint Olaf Elementary School through the sixth grade.

He graduated from Utah State University in May with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.

"I started studying mechanical engineering, but during my second year I questioned whether I wanted to do that for a living," he said. "Around the same time I was on the Internet one afternoon reading about all the different Catholic orders and that’s how I found the Paulists. My vocations director jokes that I found the Paulists through St. Wikipedia. But something about them really drew me in and I wondered if I had a vocation."

Cummings contacted a Paulist vocations director and has attended a few retreats. "I have been spending the last few years praying, studying philosophy, talking to people and it seems to be the right choice."

Cummings liked philosophy so much that he changed his major.

"Philosophy served as a ground work for theology and it was a good way for me to see if the priesthood was what I wanted to do," said Cummings, adding that two of his professors at Utah State were Catholic.

"It was very good that he took philosophy as an undergraduate because now he doesn’t have to take two years of pre-seminary philosophy," said Richard Sherlock, Utah State philosophy professor and a member of Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish. "He took courses in the Old Testament and New Testament and several classes from me and [Harrison Kleiner]. Evan is a very smart, very good kid. He was committed to really going deep into the great questions, and he loved reading the great books of Aquinas, Augustine, (Thomas) Hobbs and (John) Locke.

"From the first time he said he wanted to be a priest, I could see he would make a good one and he said his goal is to become a Newman Center priest," said Sherlock.

"The Paulists’ charisms are college age youth ministry, reconciliation of people back to the church, ecumenism, and missionary work," said Cummings. "They evangelize through modern technology, so they have a radio show, a website, podcasts, blogs and St. Paul’s Press. I’ve had the Internet my entire life and I like the idea of youth ministry for college campuses and I see that as a huge need."

While discerning his vocation, he consulted his former pastor, Monsignor Victor Bonnell; and his current pastor, Father Clarence Sandoval; as well as Father Francisco Pires, pastor of Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish, where Cummings lived at the Newman Center while in Logan.

"I’ve also been talking to Paulists," he said.

The Paulists are a community of priests with parishes throughout the United States and Canada. The congregation does not take final vows, but "signs a contract," said Cummings.

The Paulist Fathers began their missionary work in Utah’s Uintah Basin in 1938, then moved to a mission in Bountiful established by Bishop Duane G. Hunt in 1943.

The Catholic Church Extension Society contributed funds for St. Rose of Lima Parish in Layton and the church was dedicated in 1949. The Paulists continued to be assigned to St. Rose of Lima until 1989.

Cummings was unaware of this fact before he decided to join the community that was founded in 1858 by Father Isaac Thomas Hecker and three other men who had been members of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer before forming the community.

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