Monday, July 11, 2011
Guest Post By Michael Lawinger "Go, take your faith! Ignite the World!"
This is the fourth guest post that has been sent to me by a fellow seminary summer camper. Michael Lawinger has attended the summer camps held at St. Francis De Sales Seminary all four years that it has been offered. I am so happy that he wrote a post on his overall review of the camp, showing how it has grown and truly shaped vocations in the many teens that have attended over the years. Thank you so much Michael and all that have written guest posts for my blog. Know that I am praying for each and everyone of you. No matter if we become priests or not, I am still so grateful for your friendship throughout these years. Michael's wonderful post is below.
This year was my fourth time at seminary camp, and I am proud to have made every camp to date. There was one thing you noticed when you saw the first camp four years ago; it was small. The junior high camp only had 5 campers, but even then I saw something I never thought I would realize. I was not the only one discerning the priesthood in the whole state of Wisconsin! It was a great thing to see that, and even greater was the sight of next year’s camp. Over tripling in size it was now at 16, and it swelled with new energy and personalities. Yet again the bond became stronger as the camaraderie grew, seeing and meeting new people, as well as catching back up with the group from the previous year.
I was very proud of the second year camp, as I dragged a friend, his brother, and my brother to camp that year, and I was not the only one who did. More and more the camp grew with people drawn in. The truth is attractive, and no matter how much the world and the devil want to change it, some men are called to become priests. I have always felt a gut feeling ever since I was about 6 that the man behind the altar should one day be me. The call grew and grew, and when Bishop Elect Hying, then just Fr. Don (at the camp we affectionately named him the late Fr. Don) asked if I wanted to go to the first camp I jumped at the chance. The camps have definitely deepened my outlook on the priesthood, and what a priest actually does. The camp also helped me understand the gravity of the priesthood, for no man without the aid of God can have such an impact on others lives.
The spiritual camaraderie was astounding. We all understood there was something that made us feel we would be happy in the vocation of priesthood, and this common bond resonated throughout the camp. From playing monopoly till 2 in the morning, or deriving a logical proof from scientific evidence that God exists, we knew we were one in the same.
God looks out for us, Deus providebit, God will provide; He just asks we trust him. Not even the deepest dark can put out a candle, and every single person that attended seminary camp is a candle, and it is their choice to light others. Putting all 21 candles together this year only made us burn brighter, and created a holy bonfire. You could almost visibly see the holiness jumping from person to person giving energy and light to any situation.
From mass to confession, the sacraments were fuel to the flame, and during adoration we were scorched with the true presence of God. We knew we all had the same goal. Priesthood or not we were alive with the fire of the Holy Spirit and nothing was going to stop us. For we are the burning ones and we will not be contained!
Go, take your faith. Ignite the world!