Phoenix seminarians James Wraith, Daniel Connealy, Father James Wehner (Rector) and AJ Enfield at the Pontifical College Josephinum. Click image for more photos(courtesy photo)

Three Phoenix seminarians studying for the priesthood earned bachelor degrees May 12 from the Pontifical College Josephinum. It marked completion of the first phase of formation with years of theology classes ahead of them.

A.J. Enfield, James Wraith and Daniel Connealy received a bachelor of arts in philosophy during the Josephinum’s 113th Baccalaureate and Commencement in Columbus, Ohio. Enfield was chosen as the senior class representative. The St. Thomas the Apostle and Brophy graduate is from St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish in Cave Creek.

“When fellow seminarian Jim Wraith asked me if I had considered the priesthood a couple years ago, I laughed it off. It never really left me, however, and ultimately I realized that I owed it to both God and myself to truly discern. That discernment is ultimately what led me to the seminary,” Enfield wrote for the Meet the Seminarians through Phoenix’s Office of Vocations website.

He was one of nine seminarians from across the country who were granted degrees from the Josephinum’s College of Liberal Arts Pre-Theology Program.

“We are here first and foremost to discern if God is calling us to the priesthood,” Enfield told fellow graduates. “Trust the formation process; fully invest yourself into the program. Our priestly fathers have told us that we cannot fail, regardless of whether we go on to theology and eventually the priesthood, or become good, holy, humble Catholic laymen.”

Enfield graduated Cum Laude and Connealy, Magna cum Laude. Connealy spent his elementary years at Most Holy Trinity and two years swimming in college before seeking something more meaningful by serving God’s people. Wraith, a St. Joan of Arc parishioner, had a re-awakening of his faith at a Steubenville conference and the Catholic school alum entered the seminary right after graduating from Scottsdale’s Notre Dame Preparatory.

Fr. Joseph McGaffin, pastor at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Sun City, were among those who con-celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass. Msgr. Daniel Torres, vicar general for the Diocese of Lake Charles, delivered the homily.

“Graduates, you must realize that it will be tough, but every day can be a glorious day if you live in Christ and are rich in his mercy. What you have learned can blossom if you truly live in Christ and are strong in your prayer life, humble in your spirit, listen with your ears and heart, and are merciful as Christ is.”

The graduating class at the Pontifical College Josephinum also included 13 men who earned a Master of Divinity and fulfilled all requirements for priestly ordination in their home diocese this spring.