Just a few short weeks ago, my Effective Composition class was assigned to write and mail a letter of inquiry to someone that had affected us in a particular way whether it was positive or negative. The purpose of this letter was to write to someone who inspired us to listen to our heart and follow our dreams and hopefully receive some sort of response back with some sort of advice. Many people in my class chose to write to rock stars, politicians and even to the President of the United States of America. I chose to write to Archbishop Dolan. I would be absolutely thrilled if I get a response back! Below is my letter to the Archbishop.
Dear Archbishop Dolan,
My name is John Bender and I am a senior at Nathan Hale High School in West Allis, WI. I am writing to you today because you are a huge inspiration to me and countless others who follow the Catholic faith. My family and I have been life long members of St. Matthias Parish in Milwaukee, and loved getting to meet, talk with you and receive an occasional bear-hug or headlock from you. It was so awesome just to be able to approach you with questions, talk briefly about sports or simply just say hello. I remember having breakfast with you at the first annual vocations seminary summer camps that were held at St. Francis De Sales Seminary, which had been coordinated by Father James Lobacz. Just the way you were always smiling, making jokes and praying so hard during Mass all made a huge impact on me and my own vocation.
For my Effective Composition class I was assigned to write a letter to someone that inspires me and encourages me to follow my dreams. Many of my classmates are writing to professional athletes, rock stars and politicians. I chose to write to you. Ever since I was in in 5th grade, I have felt a call to the Catholic priesthood. I have been attending Mass regularly, participating as an acolyte, lector and cantor. I have also attended discernment groups and vocation camps offered by the seminary. I am also thinking off enrolling at St. Joseph’s College Seminary Program in Chicago as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee next year.
The reason why I am writing to you is because I am seeking words of wisdom and answers to questions that I have while I am still discerning. I couldn’t think of a better person to ask. I am wondering if at any time during your discernment process you felt temptation, and what you did to overcome it and continue on your path to priesthood? I’m also wondering how your prayer life was during your discernment and if you had a special saint in particular that you prayed to as you continued on the path that you were going. Any other additional advice you would have for someone who is discerning the priesthood would be really appreciated. Thanks so much for your time and for reading this letter. I know that you are extremely busy but I would really appreciate any advice or help you could give me.