Tomorrow, while most teens will be preparing for proms, dances and perhaps a graduation or two, there are 39 young men registered for the High School Discernment Day at Mount St. Mary's Seminary here in Cincinnati. We've been doing this day for the last few years, and before I was the Vocation Director, I would help out with confessions and other aspects. What's new this year, though, is the shear number. 39 is at least double, and closer to triple the usual number that we have had at this gathering. The only reason we've had such a rise in numbers this year over previous years is that the seminarians have been very generous with their time in sharing their vocation stories to so many high schoolers. Please pray for the young men gathering tomorrow, as well as all those called to serve as priests and religious.
We ended up with 38 guys at the Big House on Beechmont yesterday for the Discernment Day. There was a large contingent from LaSalle High School, mainly because one teacher gave a pretty good chunk of extra credit for guys to attend. (She even came out during lunch to take attendance!)
When we first heard that this was happening, we were concerned about how some of the guys would behave, would they take it seriously or ruin it for the guys that were trying to take it seriously? We were all very pleased to note that they were all well behaved, and really seemed to enter the program of the day. In fact, at the end of an Adoration period, they had a chance for Testimony. A few of the football types from LaSalle even got up. After admitting that they only came because they wanted the extra credit and needed to pass the class, they confessed that they really did learn a great deal about the priesthood, what it takes, and why it is such a good thing. One guy even admitted that he had never really thought about it before, but now he saw it as a distinct possibility.
While it is very tempting for me to take all the credit for the day, I deserve none. The whole motivation for this day is by the seminarians themselves. They organize the schedule, they do most of the publicity, design of the flyers and such. They handle the talks during the day itself. The fact that we had 40 high schoolers there is a testiment to the quality and integrity of the men we have studying there. They sell the program, not me. I am very proud of them all. Way to go, guys, the Church has a promising future with you leading her flock.