I have now been the Rector of the Cathedral for a year and a half, and throughout my professional life I have noticed that it takes about that amount of time to get my feet under me whenever I start something new. Being a pastor is a great responsibility but also a great source of joy as I get to walk with the parishioners here at St. Peter. While it’s a challenge to live in the two worlds of parish life and seminarian accompaniment and vocation promotion, I think that living in these two worlds has helped me realize what is ‘absolutely necessary’ and helpful to promote vocations and what isn’t.
One thing that has proven to be helpful time and time again is the ‘Come and See’ that is offered by St. Joseph Seminary College twice a year – once in the fall and once on Palm Sunday weekend in the spring. During this weekend young men are invited to come live at the seminary and hear talks from current seminarians. Our own Grayson Foley served as the emcee at one of these retreats. The Palm Sunday weekend retreat is especially helpful, I think, because the guys get to see the liturgy of the monastery in full color. Holy Week is astounding at St. Joseph Abbey, and I know that is inspiring to see so many seminarians participating in the liturgy and it is a source of grace for the discernment of those considering whether to enter the seminary or not.
So, our offerings for ‘come and see’ experiences have certainly narrowed since I became a pastor. I simply can’t organize the diocesan experiences that we had for a couple of years. But I do believe that we have sufficient resources to accompany young men considering the priesthood, and so I want to encourage you all to promote this ‘Come and See’ to the good young men in your parish. You can share this article with them if you’d like, and make sure they know that they can reach out to me via phone at (601) 969-4020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
At the end of this year, I’d like to thank all of you who have been consistent readers and encouragers of mine. This little article has been a labor of love for me and it’s just a way to help connect you with vocation ministry. The more we can all be on the same page about what is needed to increase vocations and bring forth men for the priesthood from our own diocese, the more faces we’ll see on that famous seminarian poster that comes out each fall. Merry Christmas, and please, continue to pray for the master of the harvest to bring forth laborers for the harvest!
– Father Nick Adam, vocation director
(Read about our current seminarians and their inspirational vocation stories at https://jacksondiocese.org/seminarians. Father Nick Adam can be contacted at email@example.com.)