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This past weekend was our Encounter with God’s Call weekend. Conception Seminary College invited a record-breaking 115 young men to “come and see” the seminary, visit with the seminarians, and hear a series of talks. Never before have we had over 100 young men for an Encounter, which are held once in the fall and once in the spring semester.
The high numbers can be attributed first to the Holy Spirit, but also to the work of Fr. Macario, Director of Admissions, his assistant, seminarian Travis Crotty (Diocese of Sioux City), and all of the priests, chaperones, and vocation directors who arranged for these young men to visit the seminary. Represented were the following Dioceses: Amarillo, Cheyenne, Davenport, Des Moines, Dodge City, El Paso, Grand Island, Jefferson City, Kansas City in Kansas, Kansas City-St. Joseph, Lubbock, Oklahoma City, Salina, San Angelo, Springfield-Cape Girardeau, and Wichita.
There were more guests than we had beds (a good problem to have). Some people had to “camp out” on the floor in a sleeping bag. I have been in charge of Encounter weekends in the past, but this time around my role was limited (and with such a large group, I was completely content with that!). I helped with the design for the printed booklets, heard confessions Saturday and Sunday evening, and gave an optional talk Sunday afternoon on “Monastic Life.”
There is certainly no shortage of young men willing to listen to the Holy Spirit working in their lives. Everyone should do what they can to encourage young men to consider a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. At the very least, all of us can pray that the Lord of the Harvest sends laborers to serve faithfully!