Monday, November 7, 2016
Maybe, because no one asked!
Yesterday I was greeted with a very pleasant surprise. Josh Livingston the seminarian who spent the summer with us here in Berlin and Gorham popped in at the 11 o'clock mass at holy family church. To say I was a little shocked would be an understatement. I was definitely excited to see him again, he is a very good young man Who is discerning his vocation to the priesthood. Josh was visiting, and also promoting and making everyone aware that this is vocation awareness week. He asked us all to offer prayers, and offer words of encouragement, and also to reach out to people who have discerned becoming a priest, a religious, and may be a deacon.
Today I assisted father Michael at a funeral mass here at Saint Anne's Church in Berlin. Another pleasant surprise occurred, very very surprising. There was a young man who came forward to offer words of rememberance of his grandmother. I and father Michael both commented after the mass how impressed we were with this young man. His poise, his voice, the words he chose, he was filled with the spirit.
At the cemetery both father Michael and I made a point to talk to him and share with him how impressed we were by the way he spoke of his grandmother and his and her faith. I have never heard anyone so eloquent and so faithful at the same moment at a funeral.
Then came the moment that created a flashback in my life. I remember how vividly the moment when father Richard came to my store and asked me to consider being a deacon. I look at it just like a coach asking someone to be a member of his team. And what a special team this is, to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
So here goes, I went out to Keith and asked him…… "Have you ever considered being a deacon?" His response was pretty impressive, he didn't say no, Rather he said "I'm not sure they would except me because of the ages of my children. It is something that I discussed with my children there vocation in life." Wow, this young man has his head on straight. I shared with him that he should cry and that the diocese is looking for a few good men, and that I would also pray for him. The next thing I did when I got back home is sent an email to the diocese. I told them they have a candidate that they really need to look into, and at least have a discussion with his pastor.
My challenge for all of you is this week, rather for each and every day. Pray for vocations, encourage our young people to discern their true vocation. And lastly do one thing more, go right up and speak to them and tell them that you feel that quite possibly they have a vocation as a priest, a religious, or a deacon. Do not fall into the trap, of making a mistake, by not asking them!