…But Few Are Chosen is a newly released book that relates the coming-of-age story of three young boys who found At-One-Ment with the help of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement at St. John’s Atonement Seminary in Montour Falls, New York.

Mike Connolly, Richard (Ollie) Olive, and John Tuohey all hailed from working-class Irish-Catholic neighborhoods in

Northeastern U.S. Their childhoods were rocked by the pains of loss, abuse, and trauma. For many young men, these difficulties would be enough to set them on the path to lives of petty crime, violence, and almost inevitable imprisonment. But as young boys, Mike, Ollie, and John each made a single life-altering and possibly life-changing decision…

Each of them decided to pursue a possible vocation to the priesthood, and at age 13 they entered the high-school seminary at St. John’s Atonement Seminary. What follows is, what Fr. Emil Tomaskovic, SA, calls, “a realistic look into what was seminary life years ago, and how healing and At-One-Ment came about as a result of the Friars’ patience, dedication, and ministry.”

Fr. Emil knows all three of the authors and had the opportunity to proofread the book. “I could identify with the seminary life and activities,” Fr. Emil says. “Many former students have told me that they owed a great deal of gratitude to the Friars for their early formation that proved a bedrock for their future.”

Thanks to the influence of Frs. Owen Murphy, SA and DeSales Standerwick, SA, along with the education and discipline they received at the seminary, Mike, Ollie, and Richard were able to overcome their troubling pasts and move on to lead happy and successful lives. In particular, Fr. Owen helped the boys to discover and develop their God-given talents, and direct those talents to the service of others.

One thought on “…But Few Are Chosen

  1. Though I kept in touch with Fr. Murphy for years, I lost touch for personal reasons. He was so responsive in our contact years and most likely provided me the patience to look forward to successful years as an educator in Hawai’i. I had many private meetings with him at Montour Falls, down the hall from my dorm room. Thinking I was shocking him when sharing my darkest thoughts, he always had a warm and empathetic smile of understanding when I had the courage to look upward into his caring eyes. It was amazing and displayed the love that I felt at Graymoor seminary. Love Begets Love

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