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"Grace and truth will in turn give rise to courage.  Following Christ has always demanded courage.

-St. Pope John Paul II

September 2021
Message from the Vocation Director

Dear Brothers,
I hope all of you had an excellent summer with time for vacation, a retreat, or just a slower pace. We are excited to welcome back our seminarians, the new men who join the team, and we're continuing our discernment events throughout this year. As you pray for vocations to the priesthood, please be attentive to those potential vocations in your parish and/or school. Here are three simple ways to talk with him and his family: 1) "Have you ever thought about the priesthood?" If he says yes, then please share with him the joy that you have in your ministry and encourage him to keep going. If he says no, you could then say: "I see certain good qualities in you that would make you a good priest. Why don't you ask Jesus to see if he is calling you?" And finally, once the potential candidate is 13 or older, invite him to one of our many discerner events: "Would you like to come to Quigley Days (or Who Will Fill These Shoes)?" We need to be encouraging, persistent, and courageous. God is calling a new generation to serve as priests, and we are here to help them discern and experience the gift of the priesthood in Chicago.
Signs of a Priestly Vocation

1. God has placed in your heart a desire to be a priest.

If Jesus has placed a desire in your heart for the priesthood, no matter what your age, don’t ignore it.  Talk to a priest you admire about how you feel.

2. You have a deep love for Christ and His Church.

A priest functions in persona Christi capitas—in the person of Christ, head of the Church.  Thus a man who wants to be a priest must love Jesus Christ above all else.  And like Jesus, he should have a deep love for the Church, the Bride of Christ.  In general, a man who wants to be a priest will find himself drawn to Church teachings and “all things Catholic.”

3. Other people have mentioned that you would be a good priest.

Often other people will notice a “priest’s heart” in a young man and say to him, “Have you ever thought about being a priest?  I think you’d make a good one.”  In fact, many men report that they grew tired of people making such comments—but that the encouragement eventually led them to seminary!

4. You desire to live a life of virtue and prayer.

Pope Benedict recently spoke about what people expect of their priests.  To paraphrase, he said that people do not expect priests to be experts in anything but the spiritual life. Thus, a good candidate for the priesthood attends Mass, prays frequently, receives the sacrament of Confession, serves others, and strives to grow spiritually.

5. You want to help others grow closer to Christ.

A priest brings Jesus to people and people to Jesus.  For this reason, a man who wants to be a priest must have a deep concern for the people of God.  He wants to help them grow in holiness; he wants to teach them the truths of the faith; he wants to minster to them during the trials of life.  The vocation of priesthood is about leading others to heaven.

Archdiocese of Chicago Vocation Office Discernment Groups and Events
Samuel Group
Discernment for Young Adults

Space is available for our newest event, Samuel Group, which starts September 19th.  Please invite young adults (ages 19-35 male and female) to join us for a discernment group specifically geared toward them.  At Samuel Group they will discuss all kinds of discernment—if they are called to consecrated life, married life or single life, to a certain career or city, and more. The goal of this group is to help them, and in some cases their significant other, know themselves, Jesus and their role within the Church.

These discernment groups will take place monthly over the course of seven months. At each session, they will listen to talks, have time for small group sharing, and have the opportunity for Mass, Confession and Adoration. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet individually with a spiritual director while doing this course.


St. John Paul II Newman Center (UIC)
Fr. Tom Byrne
2021: Sept. 26, Oct. 24, Nov. 14
2022: Jan. 23, Feb. 20, Mar. 13, Apr. 10
Meetings: 3 – 7 p.m., Mass: 7 p.m.


St. Alphonsus Parish (Wellington Ave)
Fr. Tim Monahan
2021: Sept. 19, Oct. 17, Nov. 7
2022: Jan. 16, Feb. 27, Mar. 20, Apr. 24
Meetings: 1 – 5 p.m., Mass: 5 p.m.


Have questions? Contact Fr. Tom Byrne at [email protected] or Fr. Tim Monahan at [email protected].

For more information, registration and event flyer, please click link below:

Samuel Group Registration

A New school year is upon us, which means that our Quigley Discerners Program is ready to kick-start another year.  We still have space available for high school aged young men to attend this year's discerner's program.  We pray and encourage you to invite a young man (or two!) from your parish to attend our upcoming Quigley Days and to be a part of this year's discernment program.

Saturday, October 2, 2021
Hiking outing to Indiana Dunes National Park


8:30 a.m. Board bus at Mary Seat of Wisdom,  920 Granville, Park Ridge IL 60068
9:30 a.m. Board bus at Our Lady of Tepeyac, 2228 S. Whipple, Chicago, IL 60623
11:00 a.m. Arrive at Indiana Dunes
3:00 p.m. Bus arrives back at Our Lady of Tepeyac
4:00 p.m. Bus arrives back at Mary Seat of Wisdom
The day will include Mass, hiking and lunch.  A sack lunch will be provided

For more information on the Quigley Discerners Program and registration information for the October 2nd event, please click link below:  
Quigley Days Registration

Please encourage men from your parish, that show signs of priestly qualities, to sign up for InSearch professional aged discernment group.

Who:  Post college-aged men (early 20's to mid-40's)

Why:  Help men gain clarity in their vocation by discussing discernment and the call of discipleship and priesthood.

Where:  Bishop Quarter House
              750 North Wabash Avenue
              Chicago, IL 60611

When:  20 Tuesday evenings, 6:30-8:3 p.m.
             October 2021 through April 2022

For more information and how to register for InSearch, please click link below:
InSearch Information and Registration
Summer Camp Round Up
Totus Tuus 2021 was a huge success.  We want to thank the 18 host parishes for their support and dedication and bringing this catechesis camp to your youth and teens.  Through these 18 parishes, we were able to serve nearly 1,050 children of God.  Our 12 missionary teachers shared many graces and also grew in their relationship with Christ, while learning through the eyes of the children!  We will be back in summer of 2022, hosting at 30 parishes.  Please pray and discern for Totus Tuus to come to your parish next year.  Stay tuned for more information in our October Newsletter for host parish registration.

Quo Vadis Days returned this past August.  We are very thankful that we were able to conduct this great camp and help lead 42 young men in discernment of their vocation.  The 2021 camp was hosted at beautiful retreat grounds of St. Iakovos Retreat Center in Kansasville, WI.  Quo Vadis Days is seminarian led and jointly produced with the Diocese of Joliet Vocation Office.  The 42 campers that attended this summer's camp were able to engage in fun outdoor activities ranging from sports, water balloon launching, canoeing/kayaking, to experiencing daily Mass, Eucharistic adoration and small group bonding and discussion. 

We look forward to brining Quo Vadis Days to the campus of Mundelien Seminary next summer.  Registration will open in April, 2022.  Please start to plant the seed and seek young men, ages 13-18, to attend next summer Quo Vadis Days - July 31 - August 3, 2022!

Upcoming Events

September 19 - Samuel Group, St. Alphonsus (Chicago)
September 26 - Samuel Group, St. John Paul II Newman Center (UIC)
October 2 - Quigley Discerners, Indiana Dunes National Park
October 5 - INSEARCH, Bishop Quarter House (Chicago)
October 22 - 24 - Exploring Priesthood Weekend (Mundelein Seminary)

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