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“There is no place for selfishness, and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice.” 

- St. Pope John Paul II
 

February 2021
 
 
Message from the Vocation Director

Hello to all of our priests  and friends in the archdiocese! We are beginning this monthly    newsletter from the Vocation Office to keep you informed about our various vocation events throughout the year, and to update you on how our seminarians are doing. We are all responsible for vocations: praying for them, inviting them, and accompanying them. Thank you to anyone who had already been doing this -- we are counting on you! And to those who are just beginning -- we need you and we know that Jesus will make each of our little efforts bear fruit. There are plenty of obstacles for discerners in today's world, but let us think of how Jesus spoke of the mustard seed -- the little efforts we put in now can be transformed by his grace into something great. Our people need priests! With God's help, we can be instruments in raising up a new generation of shepherds and servants for the people of Chicago.

In this first issue you'll learn more about our seminarians, see some of our upcoming events, and get an update on our summer Totus Tuus program. Enjoy!

Fr. Tim Monahan, Vocation Director
 
Seminarian Update

It is hard to keep up with all the changes that are going on right now in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Every day seems to bring a new Renew My Church announcement, or a notice about Lent or Holy Week, or information on the Annual Catholic Appeal.  The goal of this small project is to bring you, our brother priests, some good news each month on our Chicago Seminarians.  We have some really excellent men in our seminary programs who are excited to give their lives in service to Christ and the Church in Chicago.  You will meet them in these pages each month and hear about the road of formation that each one is walking. 

There are also some of our brother priests out there who are working hard in the vineyard to encourage and support young men in their discernment.  We want to share that good news with you here too.  In my own experience of the priesthood and in working with seminarians, I’ve observed that there really are two common denominators in every man who knocks on our door: he prays regularly and he knows a priest who he admires and trusts.  This does not need to be complex; the more opportunities we can give young people to learn to pray and listen to God – and to come to know us as well, the more God will bless us with the vocations that we really need.

Can I ask a favor from each of you?  Would you consider celebrating one Mass each month “For Vocations to Holy Orders” (#9 – Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions in the Roman Missal).  We celebrate this Mass regularly with our seminarians in the Spirituality Year as we pray for more brothers to come and join us in this great adventure of priesthood.

Peace,

Fr. Tom Byrne, Director of Seminarians
 
Who Will Fill These Shoes?
A Parent's reflection

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the December 29, 2020 WWFTS activities were limited to in-person and livestreamed recitation of the rosary followed by Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert Casey. “Because the pandemic has caused us to be isolated, it’s important to come together and nurture interpersonal relationships.” James Keefe, the father of a Quigley Discerner stated. He enjoyed the bilingual rosary and stated, “Bishop’s homily was good and spoke to the boys at their level. Fr. Tim does a great job in welcoming each person by name. Daniel also appreciated the event very much. If we were in a different time, we would have both appreciated more time to connect with families.” When asked if Mr. Keefe would go again, he said, “Absolutely, we need to open our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit and stay connected to the program and mission.” 
 
Read more about Mr. Keefe's reflection: https://vocations.archchicago.org/events/wwfts/article


  
 
Virtual Vianney Visit
A high school discerner's reflection


St. John Vianney College Seminary




The Vocation Office along with Our Lady of Tepeyac Parish hosted the program in the late afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, and invited high school and college-aged discerners with their families. The program initiated with Mass, prayers and was followed by dinner. “I enjoyed meeting new families. I like learning about their culture and where they’re from. I enjoyed meeting each other better,” Rocha mentioned. Before the livestream started, “Fr. Tim gave his 3-minute prayers that I sometimes use in the mornings or nights,” Rocha said. After prayers and dinner, the livestreamed program followed providing insight on the life of a seminarian, vocation callings, and testimonies from the seminarians.


Read More of Osmar Rocha-Patino's Reflection here: 
https://vocations.archchicago.org/events/vianney-visits/article 


The upcoming Virtual Vianney Visit will be held at St. Edward Church on Feb. 11, 2021, from 5 - 7:30 p.m. The Vocation Office invites all young men in high school and college who are interested in learning more about the College Seminary to join for an opportunity to converse with other young men who are open to the call to the priesthood. Whether your vocation calling originates from a dream or you are just connecting another puzzle piece to clarify your vocation, the Vocation Office is available to help with your discernment. 
 
We are excited to bring Totus Tuus back to Archdiocesan parishes for the upcoming summer.  This summers camp will be designed with specific guidelines following the latest CDC recommendations.  We will continue to work closely with each parish and the COVID-Taskforce to produce a safe and fun experience for our youth, parish staff, and missionary teachers.  Please stay tuned as we continue to develop specific Totus Tuus guidelines. 


 
Upcoming Events

February 27 - Quigley Days, St. John the Evangelist, Streamwood
March 12-14 - Exploring Priesthood Weekend, Mundelein Seminary
June 13 - July 31 - Totus Tuus
August 1 - August 4 - Quo Vadis Days
 
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