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Popular EWTN Radio Host Jerry Usher Journeys to Priesthood

Jerry Usher, the popular co-host of EWTN Radio’s daily Take 2 With Jerry and Debbie show with Debbie Georgianni for more than eight years, recently announced to his listening audience that he is going to return to seminary and advance to the priesthood for the Diocese of Orlando, Florida. Presently 62 years old, he said that, God willing, next year he will be studying at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in the Boston area. Shortly after the announcement, he spoke in detail with Register staff writer Joseph Pronechen about his decision, his position now, and his hopes for the future.


Are you currently living in the diocese?

I’m living in a rectory at a parish. They call it a pastoral year. And it’s for me to get acquainted with the local diocese and for them to get to know me better.


Can you tell us how all this came about, recounting your journey and retracing your steps, because you had been in the seminary previously?

I was first in formation for the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, from 1989 through 1995. So it has been more than 20 years since I was in formal formation. During that time, I got my undergraduate degree in philosophy and theology as a seminarian at Franciscan University. Then I did two years of major seminary theology studies. Then, one year, my final year, was in a parish doing what I’m doing now as a pastoral year, where the pastor assigns you to any of the ministries that you’re allowed to do that are not reserved just for clergy.

I took some time out of seminary. I didn’t expect it to be 28 years. The door was left open for me to come back. But it’s interesting. Not long after I took some time out of formation, I knew about Catholic Answers very well, but I got to know them personally. They told me they decided to start a radio show and hired me to create and host the show. So I did.

In addition to hosting that show, I was being asked to come out to different stations and networks by the managers of those networks to host their on-air fundraisers. Most call them pledge drives. I was gone about half of the year. It wasn’t serving the radio show Catholic Answers Live. It wasn’t really fair to the show that I was gone so much.

So I had to pray for a couple of years about what God wanted me to do. I ended up leaving Catholic Answers in 2009 to host the radio fundraisers around the country full time, which I did until this last spring. In May, I hosted my last one.

Read more at National Catholic Register 

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