Saturday, August 18, 2012

Supporting Vocations to the Priesthood

It feels so strange to say I will be moving out of my house and moving in to St. Joseph College Seminary in Chicago in less than a week. I have been so blessed to meet so many great people over this summer and I am so grateful for their love, prayers and support. To know that I have the backing of my home parish, family, friends and complete strangers is an amazing feeling.

When I first started this blog, I had just got home from attending my second Seminary Summer Camp hosted by St. Francis De Sales Seminary in St. Francis, Wisconsin. I was on fire for the faith and wanted to share my experience with anyone who would listen. I was feeling confident that God was calling me to become a priest as I was entering into my sophomore year of high school. I began recording my thoughts, my prayers, my writings and the many events that I participated in. I became a team member of a major vocations website that had begun in England run by teens specifically for men thinking about the possibility of priesthood, writing prayers and reflections for the site. Because of the site, I had the opportunity to be interviewed on Relevant Radio about how I came into contact with the creator and founder of the website, John Howard who is now a seminarian in England.  It was a very exciting time in my life!

The biggest thing that I learned this summer is how important it really is to be involved in as many events as you can. Everything that you are able to participate in, gives you an opportunity to share your faith with others, network and meet new people as well as make great new friends. This summer I frequently visited a discernment house in Shorewood, WI which housed five young men who were discerning the priesthood. One of these men will be entering college seminary with me this Tuesday as a Junior. I got to know each of these men, prayed with them, shared my discernment story with them and let them know of my support. I felt it was only fair to offer not only my time, but also my prayers and support that I was so fortunate to receive as I was applying for seminary.

The point that I am trying to make in all of this is not to make myself look high and mighty, but to share with fellow seminarians and discerners that even after getting accepted to seminary our work is not done, but is only beginning. Besides going to classes and formation lessons, I feel it is so important to take the time to show discerning men how much you are praying for them and how much you support them as they continue discerning God's will for them. Having the support of seminarians and priests while I was discerning and even during applying to seminary gave me confidence and helped me to know that I had good friends that had confidence in me that I seemed capable of being a good priest. It is so important to pray for the future of our church and support them with our company and kindness.

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