By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
Each person’s journey in responding to God’s call is different, said Father Jake Greiner, director of seminarians for the Diocese of Davenport.
“One of the challenges in promoting vocations is the fact that no two people are alike,” he said. “Each of our diocese’s eight seminarians has his own story of God’s call in their life and how he is responding to that call as he goes through seminary.”
To showcase each man’s unique vocation story and personal experience as a seminarian, the diocesan Office of Vocations produced a video that the vocations staff hopes will inspire others to respond to God’s call, especially men discerning a call to the priesthood.
The video will premiere on the Davenport Vocations Facebook page and the Diocese of Davenport’s YouTube channel at noon on Nov. 7, the start of National Vocation Awareness Week. Parishes, schools and religious education programs are encouraged to share this video in their classrooms and meetings to offer insight into the journey of discernment. In the future, the diocesan Office of Vocations plans to release a discussion/reflection guide as a tool for discernment groups.
The Chicago-based Ripson Group recorded and edited the video shortly after the statewide seminarian convocation in August. The video shows the seminarians in a variety of settings, including St. Anthony Parish, Our Lady of Victory Parish and Vander Veer Botanical Park in Davenport.
“It’d been a long time since we’d done a personal video of the seminarians,” said Colleen Darland, the Vocations Office administrative assistant. “Between the ADA (Annual Diocesan Appeal) and the upcoming diocesan capital campaign, which will help fund seminarian formation, it seemed like a good time to do it.”
In personal interviews, the seminarians share testimonies on a variety of topics, including their calling, discernment process and the role of prayer and of listening to God. The seminarians also offer encouragement to men who believe they may have a calling to the priesthood.
Seminarian William Keating said in the video, “If you’re really thinking about a vocation to the priesthood, give it a shot. You’ll land with a good group of guys, get a fantastic education, and on top of that, the character formation you have … the areas for growth are invaluable.”
“You don’t have to be praying every single minute of the day, so don’t start doing that,” said Deacon Ben Snyder. “You don’t need to be 100% perfect, no sins, no mess ups, no screw ups of any kind. No! Jesus loves you where you’re at.”
“Bring prayer into your vocation, and don’t be scared if your vocation seems different from everyone else’s,” said seminarian Cameron Costello. “It’s going to be good. It’s going to be very good.”