Rich family life, consistent prayer continue to bring brave men to seek the priesthood

Categories: Around the Diocese

February 14, 2014, edition
By Father Scott Pogatchnik

My friends,

Greetings from the Vocations Office!

It was one year ago this week that we awoke to discover some unprecedented news: Pope Benedict would step down from the Chair of Peter and let another take his place.

We watched and waited and prayed.

To our surprise — and delight — the Holy Spirit, and a little white smoke, brought us Pope Francis.

His humility has challenged us.

His authentic joy has inspired us.

His iconic gestures have sparked our Catholic imagination. It has only been 11 months. Even as the pace of life quickens, I wanted to pause and rejoice at how generous the Lord has been to us in these months.

A good year locally

We welcomed a new local shepherd, Bishop Donald Kettler. Four men were ordained transitional deacons and now prepare to be ordained priests June 21. We accepted six new seminarians to more intensely discern their own call to follow Christ as his priests, coming from east (Isanti) to west (Tintah) and beyond (South Dakota).

At one of his weekly Regina Caeli addresses, Pope Francis urged young people: “Ask Jesus what he wants from you, and be brave.”

Be brave. The men on the opposite side of this page have taken up that call. Our seminarians are men of brave and generous heart. It is my honor to introduce them to you.

As the poster title reads, they want to “Seek His Face, Know His Love, and Serve His People.” Indeed, these fine men find Jesus in both his eucharistic presence, and in those they are privileged to serve. They desire to be spiritual fathers and physicians in the “field hospital” that is the church. We are blessed by their courage.

The Spirit is stirring

Where does this courage come from?

The Holy Spirit, of course.

It is that Spirit who animates rich family life throughout our diocese. It is that Spirit that stirs us to pray for more men and women to be open to God’s adventurous plan for their life. The Spirit desires our lively cooperation.

Again, Pope Francis teaches us, “Behind and before every vocation to the priesthood and consecrated life there is always strong and intense prayer from someone: a grandmother, a grandfather, a mother, a father, a community.”

In many cases, that “someone” is you.

I earnestly thank you for that. The work of the Vocations Office is fruitless without many fervent souls asking God to bless our work.

Please join with so many others who passionately support this important work.

Finally, I want to encourage your support of the many activities that the Vocation Office leads or supports throughout the year. The calendar on page 14 will be a handy guide to know where and when events will take place.

May all of us take up Pope Francis’s call in living our own vocation: Ask Jesus what he wants and be brave!

Father Scott Pogatchnik

Father Scott Pogatchnik is Vocations Office director of the Diocese of St. Cloud.