Tag Archives: vocation

Meet the Chaplain: Father Scott Adams – Jupiter-Palm Beach Chapter

As a young man, Father Scott Adams was close to being engaged to marry a couple of times, but those relationships never panned out.

“I had always wondered why those relationships weren’t working out. It was one of those things you don’t find out until later and you realize, ‘Oh, that’s why. The Lord had a different plan for me all along.”

After a business career in accounting and as a hotel general manager, Father Adams, 51, heeded the advice of friends to discern a calling to the priesthood. After a seven year process of discernment and seminary formation, Father Adams was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida in May 2016.

Father Adams is currently assigned to the Cathedral Parish of St. Ignatius Loyola. He is also the chaplain of Legatus’ Jupiter/Palm Beach Chapter, which chartered on Dec. 11, 2018. Father Adams, a convert to the Catholic faith, recently spoke with Legatus magazine.

When did you first enter the Catholic Church?

I was around 25 years old. I was raised Baptist and later went to a Presbyterian church for a while. It was when I went out on my own and started looking for a church, that one day I went to a Catholic Church, and realized that it was what I had been seeking.

What was it about the Catholic faith that you found convincing?

One of biggest things for me were the sacraments, the supernatural breaking into the natural. The Eucharist, in particular, that it’s no longer bread and wine but the body of Christ. We can clearly see how Jesus instituted that sacrament. It’s really hard to get around John Chapter 6.

When did you first begin to think about the priesthood?

After I went through the RCIA program and became Catholic, I was involved in various parish ministries. Along the way, people, priests included, would ask me, “Have you ever thought of becoming a priest?” I never paid it much attention until I pretty much had to. When you hear it over and over again, you need to take it to prayer and take it seriously.

What was your discernment like?

I always thought I would be left off the hook. I thought, “Oh, I’m too old, they won’t take me.” But they accepted my application and I entered seminary. You do a lot of your discernment in seminary, but think I knew pretty early on in the seminary that this is what the Lord wanted me to do.

What have been some of your initial impressions of Legatus?

I think it holds an important place, particularly for the folks who are involved in it. Important is that notion of not only growing in your faith personally, but being able to share that and live it and spread it in all that you do. So many times in business, the deck is stacked against you. If you’re trying to lead a good Christian, Catholic, moral life, you’re often feeling compromised, and asking yourself, “In order to get ahead, what do I need to do?”

I think it’s also important for the Legatus members to recognize, which is so important in all aspects of our faith, that we are not alone. They can get together, support one another and recognize that there are other people who are struggling with the same things as they are.

Do you feel your business background helps you relate to Legatus members?

I think so. I’ve been in the same positions, where you have to sometimes make hard decisions, whether it’s employer-employee relations and you have to let someone go, or whether it’s in sales and you’re tempted to push the envelope when it comes to the truth. I think I can relate to them on certain levels, in a real way, where they can say, “Oh yeah, you know what I’m talking about.”

Unrepeatable: Cultivating the Unique Calling of Every Person

Luke Burgis and Joshua Miller, Ph.D.
Emmaus Road Publishing, 240 pages

Time was when, in the popular mind, having a “vocation” meant one was called to the priesthood or consecrated life. While God certainly calls each person to a particular state of life, he also calls each to a personal vocation, a way of using one’s gifts and talents in the service of God and neighbor. This book offers a plan by which individuals might be led to contemplate their calling and whereby Church leaders, teachers, coaches, and other mentors might guide young people toward discerning and living out their own personal vocation.

Order: Amazon

When God’s calling becomes your mainstay

DAVID R. FIELDS: SEEING CHRIST IN OTHERS

David R. Fields is a “cradle Catholic” who always had a sense of service. When he found his budding career as a schoolteacher wasn’t providing enough to support his growing household, he took a job with Xerox — more lucrative, but less satisfying.

“I had this itch while working at Xerox to help people. So what could I do?” he recalled. “I had a calling — as a Vincentian.”

While attending a Lenten soup supper at his parish, St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Altadena, CA, Fields was invited to a meeting of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, whose members seek to grow spiritually by offering personto-person service to the needy and suffering in whom they “see the face of Christ.”

He accepted, and was hooked. “My sense of giving back was satisfied by volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul,” he said. “It kept me grounded in my Catholic faith.”

As he climbed the corporate ladder to senior management positions at Xerox over 25 years and later at a construction management firm, Fields also ascended through leadership positions in the Society. In 2010, he joined St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles (SVdPLA) as fulltime executive director, overseeing 145 parish-based Conferences of Charity, two thrift stores, and a variety of programs assisting the poor and disadvantaged.

It was all by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, he said.

“Being a Vincentian is a vocation – not a job,” said Fields. “It’s the most rewarding opportunity I’ve had in my life. My life as a cradle Catholic through a solid Catholic education prepared me to accept this calling.”

That’s not to say the transition from the private sector to a thriving nonprofit environment was easy. ”It was the biggest challenge of my life,” he admitted.

“I was prepared, given my business background and volunteering experiences,” he said. “I told my wife when I first started that things would eventually level off. That will never happen. If it does, then I’m not fulfilling my mission.”

The most difficult aspect, he noted, is to weigh between making the “business decision” on matters like budgets and personnel issues or the “Vincentian decision.” And whereas once his focus was on keeping corporate stockholders happy, “my current stockholders are the poor and disadvantaged,” he explained. “What other way is there to satisfy the will of Jesus?”

Fields has found that following the Gospel mandate to serve others enriches his own faith. “I am deeply rooted in the Catholic tradition every day. Not many lay people have this opportunity,” he said.

That strengthening of his Catholic faith through his work “definitely spills over into my personal life,” he said. “I now have a higher calling that demands increased faith, integrity, and diligence.”

He became familiar with Legatus several years ago after SVdPLA’s public relations director arranged for him to speak at a Pasadena Chapter meeting. Fields and his wife Eleanor were touched by the faith, sincerity, and inclusion of Legatus and eventually became Pasadena Chapter legates themselves.

“At Legatus, I am surrounded by an array of motivated and inspired Catholic role models,” Fields said. “It is an environment that is nurturing and faith filled. It definitely juices up the Catholic engine.”

He encourages all legates to volunteer at their local parishes.

“It’s not enough to just attend Mass on Sunday and read the Bible daily,” he said. “Our goal is to be breathing and living Catholics extending ourselves into our local parishes and communities.The need is great.”

JOHN ABBATE: SANCTIFYING WORK

It only seems natural that John Abbate is a McDonald’s franchisee: his father opened a McDonald’s in Merced, CA in 1969, and John and his brother Jim practically grew up in the store, helping out by cleaning the underside of tables and picking up cigarette butts from the parking lot.

As John matured, he initially wasn’t interested in owning a McDonald’s. While he was earning his MBA at the University of Notre Dame, however, the brothers talked and decided to partner up in the family business. They now own more than two dozen restaurants in California’s Central Valley and manage some 1,500 employees.

Raised in a solid, close-knit Catholic family, Abbate’s faith was always important to him. As an adult, however, he could not quite come to grips with how his faith related to his work. Having married his college sweetheart, Kaaren, he plunged headlong into developing and expanding the family enterprise. Meanwhile, the young couple suffered immense stress over infertility issues and attempts to adopt. They finally were able to bear a child and then adopt two more, but for Abbate that healthy work-family balance just wasn’t there.

“My problem was that my ambition just took over,” Abbate admitted on the EWTN program Force for Good earlier this year. “I had this goal, and it was driving this business. So ultimately it got to the point where it really started to affect our marriage and our relationship.”

Kaaren “was finding it very difficult to live with my work attitude, focus, and priorities,” Abbate writes in his book, Invest Yourself: Daring to be a Catholic in Today’s Business World, released this year by Beacon Publishing. Emotionally exhausted and adrift, they decided to attend a Catholic conference together. After a presentation on Medjugorje, the site of alleged Marian apparitions, John felt “an internal tug” to make a pilgrimage there. The next year, in 2006, he did just that — and returned with a whole new outlook.

“It was a week in prayer, a week in solitude. There was nothing about work there,” he said of his pilgrimage. “It really allowed me to refocus on what I wanted out of life.” He began to dedicate himself to improving his work-family balance.

That same year, he read two books that had a profound impact on his perspectives. Scott Hahn’s Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace encouraged him to “understand that work must be integrated into one’s spiritual life, as another opportunity to serve God and his kingdom. “That opened my eyes to how I could still be this really great employer, executive, and talented business person, but do it in a way that was sanctifying my work as one more extension of my faith.”

He also was inspired by Matthew Kelly’s The Dream Manager, a business parable about a service-industry employer making a difference in his employees’ lives by helping them overcome the daily problems that represent hurdles to their dreams.

“I live in a community that faces a multitude of social and economic issues that manifest themselves in the workplace,” Abbate said. “I could fundamentally relate to the storyline, people, and problems this company faces.”

He resolved to take greater interest in the lives and well-being of his employees and to focus on building relationships. He developed a business philosophy for building self-worth among his employees, affirming their talents, and allowing them to put their families first — just as he’d learned to do.

“I realized that ultimately our purpose is about being a gift to others,” he said. “It’s not just about being a gift to ourselves and maximizing our own utility. As a Catholic business leader, I feel it’s part of my responsibility to bring hope into my business and employees’ lives,” Abatte writes in his book. Introduced to Legatus a decade ago by another McDonald’s owner, Abbate became an At-Large member for a number of years before finally joining the Santa Barbara Chapter. “I am a true believer in surrounding yourself with other individuals whose life example challenges you to actively live your faith in culture,” he said of Legatus. “Their strength of character and dedication to the Catholic faith always inspires me on my own spiritual journey.”

GERALD KORSON is a Legatus magazine staff writer.

Entrepreneurship as a spiritual vocation

Implicitly, and at times explicitly, faithful parishioners assume that the only real “calling” is to some kind of full-time work in the Church. In this view, lay people don’t really have a vocation. In 1891, canon law offered a simple but devastating definition of the lay person: “Lay: not clerical.” Since then, especially under the influence of the Second Vatican Council, a far more positive view has emerged — one that plumbs the depths of God’s missionary objectives both inside and outside the Church.

Rev. Robert A. Sirico

Looking at the gift of business acumen in an alternative way, however, enables us to grasp its spiritual and moral potential. An entrepreneur is someone who connects capital, labor and material factors in order to produce a good or service. In The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, Michael Novak argued that the entrepreneur’s creativity is akin to God’s creative activity in the first chapter of Genesis. In this sense, the entrepreneur participates in the original cultural mandate, given to God by Adam and Eve, to subdue the earth. The entrepreneurial vocation is a sacred call similar to that of being a parent, even if it’s not as sublime.

For several years, I have participated in programs designed to teach seminarians the importance of the free economy and the responsibilities of the entrepreneur. For many of these students, the ideas presented have led to eye-opening experiences. Students discover that the freemarket system is about creating wealth, about finding more efficient ways of serving others, and about providing people with jobs and investment opportunities. They discover that the chasm separating prosperity and morality is no longer insuperable.

In these seminars, I often mention George Gilder’s extraordinary book Wealth and Poverty. It can even be argued, I think, that Gilder is something of an intellectual entrepreneur. His book has been credited with being the intellectual force behind the 1980s’ supply-side revolution, which forced economists and policymakers to consider for the first time how government policy, especially in the area of taxation, affects human choices. The book’s popularity illustrates well how someone outside academia can exert tremendous influence on American economic life. In my view, however, Gilder accomplished something much more important by insisting that entrepreneurship is a morally legitimate profession.

Gilder regards entrepreneurs as among the most misunderstood and underappreciated groups in society. As visionaries with practical instincts, entrepreneurs combine classical and Christian virtues to advance their own interests and those of society. Gilder thinks it’s a mistake to associate capitalism with greed — an association with altruism would be far more accurate. When people accept the challenge of an entrepreneurial vocation, they have implicitly decided to meet the needs of others through the goods or services they produce. If the entrepreneur’s investments are to return a profit, the entrepreneur must be “other-directed.” Ultimately, business persons in a market economy simply cannot be both self-centered and successful.

Wealth and Poverty’s final chapter is perhaps the least read but most crucial. Here Gilder presents the theory that entrepreneurship is an act of faith, an inescapably religious act. Fusing traditional Christian morality with a celebration of growth and change helps us discern how knowledge and discovery are essential elements of enterprise.

Long before Wealth and Poverty was published, an entire school of economics had grown up around Joseph Schumpeter’s insight into entrepreneurship. According to Schumpeter, it was entrepreneurship — more than any other economic institution — that prevented economic and technological lethargy from retarding economic growth. He thought that the function of entrepreneurs is “to reform or revolutionize the pattern of production by exploiting an invention … for producing a new commodity or producing an old one in a new way, by opening up a new source of supply of materials or a new outlet for products, by reorganizing an industry.”

Entrepreneurs, as agents of change, encourage the economy to adjust to population increases, resource shifts, and changes in consumer needs and desires. Without entrepreneurs, we would face a static economic world not unlike the stagnant economic swamps that socialism brought about in central Europe.

The economic analysis that has its roots in Schumpeter’s work taught that entrepreneurs are impresarios, visionaries who organize numerous factors, take risks, and combine resources to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Entrepreneurs drive the economy forward by anticipating the wishes of the public and creating new ways of organizing resources. In short, they are men and women who create jobs, discover and apply new cures, bring food to those in need, and help dreams become realities.

FR. ROBERT A. SIRICO is the founder of The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. This article is reprinted with permission from his 2001 essay The Entrepreneurial Vocation.

The richness of simplicity

Over 10 years ago, I was on retreat at a flourishing Benedictine monastery near Tulsa, Okla. One of the senior monks said something that has stuck with me: “There should be a little bit of monk in each of us.” Why? A monk knows what he is about, and he has cultivated an environment that doesn’t pull him away from being what he is about.

Fr. Chas Canoy

Fr. Chas Canoy

The rhythm of the monastery’s daily life fosters what I call “the richness of simplicity.” Many Legates are rich in material terms, but are you rich in what you value most in life? Are you rich in the intangibles that money cannot buy? This sort of wealth can seem counterintuitive since it entails a simplicity where less is more.

Jesus’ simplicity is marked by integrity, unity and a singleness of purpose by which he knew what he was about. For many, however, the experience of life is just the opposite: disintegrated, divided and complicated. The lack of a unifying and universal vision, due to modern society’s rejection of a sovereign God, has led many to live conflicted lives with competing interests and loyalties.

Moreover, most of us are constantly bombarded with data, invitations to events, appeals, entertainment and media. These things often pull us away from being what we are about. Wading through the requests thrown our way can sometimes seem like a full-time job. Even if you have someone helping you filter through all the superfluous material, there always seems to be an overabundance of things to attend to.

The obvious danger with all of these distractions is that we spread ourselves too thin. Consequently, we risk never making the impact we want to in the areas most pertinent to our vocation and mission in life. This may mean never getting enough quality time with our spouse, children or aging parents. It can also mean spending too much time on media or entertainment at the cost of deepening our relationship with God through prayer. It may also mean getting lost in the minutiae of our work instead of investing in the most value-added activities as a business leader. Because of the scope of their responsibilities, business leaders must be all the more vigilant in their pursuit of simplicity.

Your personal vocation statement. It’s good to stretch ourselves, but we must stretch ourselves with the right things. To discern those right things, we must ask, “Why did God make me?” The Baltimore Catechism has the answer: to know God, to love him, and to serve him in this life, so as to be happy with him forever in the next.

That answer is valid for every human person. But why did God make you? Your vocation and specific calling in life are a big part of that. We should know the specific answer to that question. We should be able to write down what we are about. My personal vocation statement reads: “As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I am a son of the Father, called to serve as his priest and a pastor of God’s people.”

What about you? Your personal vocation statement becomes crucial to knowing the richness of simplicity because it serves as the litmus test to weigh the countless options that come your way: “Does this action or option draw me closer or further from my purpose and vocation? Does it help me to become more the person God wants me to be?”

Go through purgatory! Jesus told Martha, “You are anxious and troubled about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken from her” (Luke 10:41-42). When we feel like Martha, overwhelmed by the flood of activity and our obligations, we need to choose the better part: Jesus and that personal vocation he has given us. That means going through a time of “purgatory” — a time when we simplify and purge away anything that is not of God and his calling in our lives so that the one thing necessary doesn’t get obscured.

In other words, create an environment that doesn’t pull you away from being what you are about! This process doesn’t necessarily mean getting rid of our healthy hobbies and the pastimes that we cherish. For example, I am not giving up golf! But it does mean “having a little bit of monk in you” and clearing out even the good clutter that keeps us from experiencing the richness of simplicity.

FATHER CHAS CANOY is the chaplain of Legatus’ Ann Arbor Chapter and pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Jackson, Mich

Priesthood never on chaplain’s radar screen

Atlanta chaplain Fr. Peter Rau says entering the priesthood was a natural fit . . .

Fr. Peter Rau

Fr. Peter Rau
Atlanta Chapter

Born in the New York City area, Fr. Peter Rau relocated to Atlanta when he was a mere 17 months old. Currently pastor of St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church in Roswell, Ga., Fr. Rau calls his fourth pastoral assignment “a very exciting time.” A fan of scriptural rosary and Eucharistic adoration, the priest loves being a part of his parishioners’ lives and the lives of Atlanta’s budding Legatus chapter, which is quickly growing toward its chartering.

Tell us about your call to the priesthood.

I always tell people my call was a direct invitation from Monsignor P.J. O’Connor, the well-known vocations director here in the Atlanta archdiocese.

One day in the seventh grade he asked me if I ever thought about becoming a priest. And I distinctly remember saying to him, “That’s the craziest thing you could ever do with your life.” Well, I’m embarrassed about that now. But it was always something I kept in the back of my mind. After college I entered the seminary and one year became two, which became three, and it was a natural fit.

How did you become acquainted with Legatus?

I’d known about Legatus, but when I became pastor of my current parish, which has a lot of professionals as parishioners, two members of the Legatus chapter in Atlanta approached me about becoming their chaplain. I accepted because I thought it was something very important to help professionals advance the Gospel in their own professions.

What impact has Legatus had on the Atlanta archdiocese?

I find encouraging the very fact that Catholic men and women are drawn to Legatus to be examples of the Gospel in the world. They’re following Jesus’ model of servant leadership, and they’re very active at the grassroots level at their parishes.

I’d like to see Legatus have more of a presence in Atlanta, that people become more aware of its presence. Right now the chapter numbers about 30, all married couples. Reaching out to those who aren’t married would be a good thing.

How do you approach your role as chaplain?

Right now simply getting to meet members and spreading the word about Legatus in my area. I’m the dean in my area of the archdiocese. Basically I oversee a cluster of parishes, so I’m getting the word out about Legatus. And I am there to address the chapter’s spiritual needs, too — hearing confessions, saying Mass, helping them hear Jesus and helping to make the teachings of the Church real within and beyond the workplace.

Are there any lessons you’ve learned as a priest that are especially apt for business leaders?

As a priest, I always say compassion and understanding are very important. And for members of Legatus, I think it’s important to help them keep foremost in their minds Whom it is they serve and to Whom they belong. It’s a great family we belong to. Helping them understand that on a deeper level is a duty I take seriously.

Are there are any devotions you recommend to Legates?

A good scriptural rosary. Blessed Pope John Paul II offered one. It’s a meditative recitation of the rosary, not just rattling off the mysteries. John Paul offered reflections on the mysteries, really getting into them and how they’re to be lived out.

I’m also a big proponent of spending quiet time in reflection before the Blessed Sacrament. It’s especially important in the rush of today’s world to have that quiet space. I’m so happy to have perpetual Eucharistic adoration in my parish and have people come at all hours to give the Lord that time they set aside.

Vocations in America

Contrary to popular perception, religious vocations in America are on the rise . . .

vocations-picnicWhen people talk about a vocations “crisis,” they usually refer to the scarcity of men and women entering religious life. But the word takes on a whole new meaning for the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. They’ve witnessed an explosion of vocations.

“We have a crisis of another kind,” said Sr. Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, the order’s vocations director. “In the last 12 years we have gone from four sisters to 99. The average age of our sisters is 26. If anything, we have a real estate crisis.”

Sister Joseph Andrew jokes that if this trend continues, the new sisters will have to sleep in hallways and closets. Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., the Sisters of Mary wear a traditional habit, live in community and make a daily holy hour. But the sisters are perhaps best known for their profound joy.

Growing trend

To be sure, most seminaries and convents aren’t suffering from a “real estate crisis,” but statistics show that vocations have risen over the past 15 years.

toups

Fr. David Toups

“There is a growing trend,” said Fr. David Toups, director of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “It’s not a dramatic increase, but it’s steady. Since the mid-’90s, the number of men being ordained has risen by about 2% a year.” According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at GeorgetownUniversity, 442 men in the U.S.were ordained to the priesthood in 2000; 454 in 2005; and 472 this year.

Statistics are equally positive for religious orders. A landmark study commissioned by the National Religious Vocations Conference (NRVC) earlier this year found that 6,000 men and women have entered the religious life over the past 10 years — 43% of them under 30 years old.

Patrice Tuohy

Patrice Tuohy

“What we’re finding is a trend among young vocations,” said Patrice Tuohy, executive director of Vision Vocation Guide, the publishing partner for the NRVC study. “They’re interested in wearing a habit and living in community. This was not true of the older vocations.”

While some are looking for a more traditional religious practice, others pursue orders focusing on missionary and justice work. Catholic identity, however, unites these two trends. “People are very proud of being Catholic, and they want to mine the traditions of the faith,” Tuohy said.

The fastest-growing orders have sophisticated websites and dedicated vocation teams with organized discernment retreats. They’re also attracting younger vocations.

“These are young men who just graduated high school — 18 to 20 years old,” said Rose Sullivan, executive director of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors (NCDVD). “Whereas before we used to see more second-career vocations — men who had finished college and worked a few years — now it’s the younger guys.”

Eucharistic adoration

vocations-aspirantsOne Michigan parish — Christ the King in Ann Arbor — has had more than 20 men ordained in the last 10 years. Twenty-four parishioners are now in the seminary, and more than 20 women have made vows in religious orders. A dozen more women are currently in formation.

Deacon Dan Foley, a member of Legatus’ Ann Arbor Chapter, serves at Christ the King. He said vocations flow from having supportive families, strong priestly leadership and Eucharistic adoration.

“We try to foster an environment where members of the parish have a chance to encounter Christ,” he said. “If you have no personal relationship with the Lord, then you can’t hear the call.”

The parish of only 800 families has a perpetual adoration chapel where parishioners can spend time with the Lord around the clock. “We constantly have people in front of the Eucharist,” Foley said.

Sullivan, too, has noticed the incredible response to Eucharistic adoration in her diocese of Rockville Center, N.Y.

“Six months after Pope Benedict XVI came to New York last year, we decided to organize a holy hour for young men who were discerning a vocation,” said Sullivan. “We got 125 college kids at the first holy hour.”

After the first meeting, the diocese organized a monthly holy hour. At each meeting, they offered Eucharistic Adoration, a hero sandwich and time to play dodge ball.

“Last month, we had 325 kids from eighth grade to college age,” said Sullivan. “And believe me, they weren’t there for the dodge ball or the hero!

“Vocations are coming from these kids. They sit before the Blessed Sacrament asking God, ‘I need to know what you want me to do,’” she said. “Our lives are crazy busy with cell phones, e-mail and Blackberries. When we turn down the volume, we allow the Lord to break through. Adoration is helping vocations, and it’s not just about the priesthood. It’s any vocation.”

JP2 influence

The USCCB’s Fr. Toups attributes vocations growth to Pope John Paul II’s 27-year pontificate and his renewal of the Church’s vision of the priesthood.

“There was great confusion after Vatican II among the laity and the priesthood about their nature,” said Fr. Toups. “John Paul II’s pontificate recovered that identity. Now we have the John Paul II generation responding to the invitation to ‘be not afraid.’ Men are seeking that – especially in dioceses where bishops are strong supporters of vocations.”

Sister Joseph Andrew concurs. “The John Paul II generation is looking for sacrifice,” she said. “They don’t want to mitigate the sacrifice. They want the habit. They don’t want to enter a place of confusion. God is generous with open hearts that go for the ideal. Young people want heroism and totality. Anything else rings as shallow.”

So is there a vocations crisis in America?

“Absolutely not,” said Tuohy. “There is a call to renewal. People really want to serve the Church in courageous ways. It’s a hopeful time.”

“When Pope Benedict came to Dunwoodie Seminary, I went with 80 discerners and 120 college kids,” said Sullivan. “When he walked out on stage you should have seen the reaction, the energy of this event. I remember thinking, ‘There is no vocations crisis here.’”

Sabrina Arena Ferrisi is a Legatus Magazine staff writer.