Our 4th Annual Homegrown Harvest Festival is in the books, but the work of calling forth men to the priesthood from our parishes continues. One of the most encouraging parts of the evening for me at St. Paul Flowood was the mixture of longtime vocation supporters and new faces that were there.
The vision that we had for this event starting in 2020 was to bring together vocation supporters to encourage one another. It is difficult to consistently ask young men to consider the priesthood. It is difficult to look toward the future when the present has so many needs of its own. But the Lord tells us to ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest, and so we must keep encouraging one another and trusting that the Lord will bring forth good men to serve us in our parishes and schools.
The most encouraging part of this event has become the presentation by our seminarians. This year I asked Deacon Tristan to share a little bit about his experience in over six years of seminary formation. I gave him little to no warning that he would be speaking in front of the whole crowd, but he did a wonderful job! He even asked Grayson Foley to add his own experience as a younger seminarian and both of them were so filled with enthusiasm that it was infectious.
This is the whole point of the Homegrown Harvest event. Yes, we need the money in order to send these guys to school, but we also need to encourage one another and see that formation works. Grayson and Deacon Tristan will both be wonderful leaders in our church for years to come, and that is what all the money and the planning and the prayers are for.
Grayson and Deacon Tristan are also inspiring other young people to consider their own calls from the Lord. There were a few discerners in the crowd at the Mass and the event, and I was so happy to see our seminarians interacting with them and encouraging them. I also enjoyed a late-night Waffle House visit with the seminarians and a few young adults who have continued to be in friendship with our seminarians and young priests. This is the type of culture that brings forth men and women to consider giving their lives to the Lord.
Thank you to everyone who made this event a success and thank you for your support of the Department of Vocations as we ask the Lord for strength and endurance to continue our work.
— Father Nick Adam
FLOWOOD – Pictures from the Jackson Seminarian Homegrown Harvest on Saturday, Oct. 21 in the Family Life Center at St. Paul parish in Flowood. Below, Deacon Tristan Stovall speaks to those in attendance on his experience as as seminarian. (Photos by Joanna Puddister King)
(L-R) Will Fogo, EJ Martin, Bishop Joseph Kopacz, deacon Tristan Stovall, Willson Locke and Franciaco Maldonado.