Yesterday afternoon I travelled with Father Mike Steber, Pastor here at St Peter's Cathedral, to Graden on the shores of Lake Michigan where the diocesan retreat centre, Marygrove, is located.
Seminarians and prospective seminarians were spending a few days of prayer, reflection and recreation to consider the priestly vocation. Yesterday evening priests of the diocese were invited to dinner and to take part in a panel discussion, answering questions or responding to points raised by the young men.
On the panel were priests ranging from just over a year since ordination to one celebrating over forty years of ordination. The wisdom, joy and dedication of these priests to their vocations was truly impressive. All spoke of the importance of relying on the Lord, trusting in Him, dedication to prayer, availability to the people, obedience to the bishop when it comes to accepting assignments, the joy and fulfilment that love in celibacy brings. It was pointed out that in surveys Catholic priests are predominantly happy and busy. This was borne out very much by those who were present.
Thank God there is a great love for the priesthood in the Marquette diocese with enthusiastic vocations promotion programmes. Many young men are seriously considering whether or not they are being called.
Here are some photos from the retreat centre:
Further information about Marygrove here.