I grew up attending a small Catholic grade school, St. Michael’s School, in Greenfield, Indiana. During those eight years at St. Michael’s, I grew physically, emotionally, and spiritually from a very young boy into a very young man. As I grew in my relationship with God, I knew that He would always be an important part of my life and I would always love
and follow Him. But I wasn’t quite sure exactly how. I can vividly recall that there was a period of time that I did think about being a priest. The idea of serving God and His people was very appealing to me. As an altar server and as an active participant in several liturgical settings (most often during school Masses), I could easy envision serving God as a priest. But I also had a conflict in my heart because I could also see myself as a husband and father.
Unfortunately as I was contemplating my role as one of God’s servants, I didn’t have a connection with the Diocese’s Vocation’s Director (in my case it was the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.) So I had to discern my call to serve on my own. And since permanent deacons were not actively serving in ministry in my archdiocese back in the 1970’s, I didn’t know all of the ministry options that were available to me, whether they were in lay ministry or ordained
ministry. I had no idea about options with Religious Orders either.
In many ways, I was like the disciples walking on the road to Emmaus. I thought I was alone never realizing that Jesus was walking beside me. As you know, my journey in following my vocation has brought me to where I am today. I am a deacon and I am also a husband and
father. God has led me down a path where I can answer my call to vocations. I thank God every day for His guidance, love and support. But I know my journey would have been easier if I had had access to a Vocation’s Director to guide me along the way.
The Diocese of St. Cloud is blessed to have Fr. Scott Pogatchnik as our Director of Vocations and St. Francis Xavier Parish is blessed to have Fr. Scott visiting us this weekend. He is an ideal resource to help any of us who may be discerning a call to
vocations. Whether we are discerning a call to the priesthood, the diaconate or a religious community, he can either guide us in our journey or direct us to the appropriate resources to understand our options and to help us discern our call.
As today’s Gospel passage from John (Jn 1:35-42) reminds us, we are all called to follow Jesus. For many of us, we are called to be faithful followers. For others, we are called to serve in specific roles as priests, deacons and as a member of a religious community. It
is important to know what resources are available to us in our time of discernment.
Let us join our hearts and minds in prayer to those who are discerning a call to vocations. And let us include Fr. Scott Pogatchnik and his very important ministry in our prayers as well.
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC