Friday, June 1, 2018

Mass Offered on June 1st 2018 for Seminarians

A Mass will be offered today for all seminarians that they will grow in holiness and lead us all in love. Every month we have a Mass offered for this intention. As our seminarians will be the future shepherds and our children are the future flock, it seemed a beautiful way for the children to help. 

We have been periodically featuring different seminarians on the first of the month by inviting them to share something of themselves - a beautiful sharing of faith and love of Our Lord. Today we will be featuring John Gancarz. He is a seminarian from the Archdiocese of Hartford USA who is completing his third year Theology. He is studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

John Gancarz 

In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world. - Jesus (John 16:33)

For nearly as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an engineer. Technology always captivated me. We’re surrounded by technological devices, but few understand the intricacies of the everyday smartphone, laptop, or GPS. In high school, I relished in mathematics and the sciences. For this reason, whenever someone recommended the priesthood to me, I was thrown off-guard. The priesthood? That was for those Catholic men who adore finding literary themes, grasping the essence of poems, and creative writing! They have the proper skills to be a priest. I, on the other hand, believed that I simply lacked these “vital” qualifications.
While I quickly wrote myself off from being priesthood material, I must say that I had a heart for the Church. Each time when I heard people speaking about the potential shortage of priests on the horizon, I felt a twang of guilt inside. I sometimes thought dramatically, “Perhaps I’m the one who has to make the sacrifice of my life to be a priest?!” To be honest, there were also certain moments while altar serving at my home parish (Sacred Heart in Suffield), especially at the Easter Vigil, when I found myself catching a taste of God’s transcendence. These moments, if for a moment, brought the priesthood to my mind. All the same, while God was always part of my life and while I had a respect and affection for the faith, I did not consider the priesthood to be a viable option for me. 
A few things changed around the time I was ready to leave high school. My mother purchased for us an EWTN television series (“Household of Faith”) on VHS and had my entire immediate family watch an episode each Sunday during one summer. I was blown away as two converts described their journey to Catholicism. Their answers revealed the beauty and truth of Catholicism in a way that struck a chord in me. Adding to this, I unexpectedly found an incredibly vibrant Catholic community when I began my studies in electrical engineering at Boston University. Reflecting on this time at BU, I see that Our Lord opened my eyes wider during those years to appreciate the faith in a much deeper, more profound way.
I realized quickly at our Men’s Group at Boston University the truth that the Church needed not only priests, but holy men to be strong fathers. I immediately placed myself in this category. Yet, when friend once directly asked me on a service trip to Mexico if I had prayed about this decision, I immediately seemed to hear God speak in my core, “John, you haven’t asked me what I want for you.” Disturbed by this thought, I boarded a plane to Bradley Airport. To my surprise, when I entered the terminal at Bradley, the first thing that caught my eye was a poster behind glass of a priest holding a host with the words, “Are you called?” Never had I seen something like that before in an airport!
Nonetheless, I brushed aside this experience and continued with my engineering studies. I was blessed to have successes, but nonetheless found myself strangely unfulfilled. To add to this, I discovered to my astonishment that I often found learning about the faith more fulfilling and attractive than my engineering work. Life continued, however, and it wasn’t until my first year of electrical engineering graduate school that I was moved to dedicate serious time to asking the Lord what he wanted for my life. When I did this, striving to lay my life before the Lord and devoting regular time to Eucharistic adoration, he revealed to me the desire to be a priest. It was as if this desire was there all along, but I simply couldn’t perceive it. Around the time of this realization, I noticed that whenever I went to Mass, I continually felt myself drawn to be in the position of the priest. For the first time in my life, I acknowledged that I didn’t feel guilty about the priesthood, I simply desired it - I wanted to devote my life to serving God and His people. Vocation is often mysterious, even when you find yourself being called! I subsequently made the decision to withdrawal from a PhD program and finish my Master’s Degree instead. I took confidence that God, in his benevolence, would redirect my life if I was making a mistake. At the same time, I recognized that if I didn’t try to apply for the seminary, I would always ask the question, “What if…?” 
Today, after three years into seminary, I count myself incredibly blessed. Is there any more worthy or vital mission than devoting one’s life to sharing Jesus and his bride, the Church, with the world? My love for Christ and His Church has continued to expand during my preparations for the priesthood of Jesus Christ. By His grace, I continue this journey with gratitude for my family and for all those holy men and women who have showed me authentic sanctity. In a special way, I’m grateful for those priests who have been with me every step of the way.
As you learn to hear the Lord’s call, may the Blessed Mother guide you always to the most perfect will of her Son. If you are sincere in your prayer and intentions, our loving Father will always direct you to his exceptional plan for your life. 
St. John Vianney, pray for us!

We hope that those of you reading this will keep John Gancarz in your prayers.  If we want holy priests we need to pray for them. They are undertaking a difficult journey for Our Lord and souls.  We thank them for their, "Yes".  

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Don't forget to unify prayers with the children during their meetings. A schedule of meetings is present on our website. By clicking "Join in Prayer" you can add your gold flashing light to our View from Heaven map.

For more information about the Children's Rosary visit our website:
Visite nuestro sitio web en español para obtener más información:
Pour plus d'informations sur le Rosaire des Enfants, visitez notre site

No comments:

Post a Comment