Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Diocesan Vocations' House Of Discernment Set For Fall Opening


The Diocese of Evansville Vocations Office is opening a House of Discernment for men considering the priesthood. The tentative schedule calls for the house to be open and in operation in conjunction with the start of the 2018 fall semester for local university students.


“We live in a tough culture now for young people,” said Father Alex Zenthoefer, Diocesan Director of Vocations and Pastor of Annunciation Parish in Evansville. “This culture makes it tough for them to commit to anything for the rest of their lives. This house will give young men the space, tools and resources they need to listen to the voice of God.”


Father Zenthoefer said that plans for the house have come together over the past year. Father Tyler Tenbarge, a priest of the diocese, is returning from his Canon Law studies in Rome to serve as the Priest in Residence for the House, which will be located in the Sacred Heart Rectory in Evansville.  Father Tenbarge will continue his Canon Law studies in the summers at Catholic University in Washington D.C.   


“The house will accommodate up to five men, plus Father Tyler,” Father Zenthoefer said. “We have seen a growing trend of men beginning to discern a call to the priesthood later in their college years. This house will offer them space to receive direction and formation while continuing their college careers or work experiences.” He is working to identify men ages 19-30 who may be candidates to fill the initial openings.


“We want to give residents the best possible opportunity to hear God’s call clearly,” he added.


“Houses like these are present in many dioceses,” Father Zenthoefer said. “We have learned from other dioceses that having a house of discernment connected to a parish gives the residents a chance to connect with a parish and offer service to the parish community. That is an important element of discernment.”


Father Zenthoefer told The Message that four diocesan seminarians will enter First Theology in the fall at St. Meinrad Seminary.


For more information on the diocesan vocations program and the new house of discernment, contact Father Zenthoefer at or at (812) 476-3061.