|October 23, 2017 • VOL. 55, NO. 18 • Oakland, CA|
National Vocations Awareness Week
Priesthood: Determining what God wants for you?
Men who are discerning a call to the priesthood are not alone in the Diocese of Oakland.
That process is assisted by a group Father Campbell has formed that meets monthly. Eight men, in their 20s and early 30s, are participating, but there's room for more. The group currently includes college students, college graduates and a military veteran.
The men met in September at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Oakland, with Father Campbell and Rev. Brandon Macadaeg, parochial administrator at St. Lawrence O'Toole/St. Cyril and St. Paschal Baylon parishes in Oakland. Father Macadaeg was ordained in 2013.
As vocations director, Father Campbell's role is to journey with those discerning the priesthood and religious life. Also in his care are the diocese's 17 seminarians, who are in formation at seminaries from Menlo Park to Boston.
"My vision of the Church, emphasized by Pope Francis, is that we are to bring the mercy of God to the battleground, the field hospital, he calls it," Father Campbell said.
"You really want men and women who have a heart that's capable of expansion," he said. "The academic part, while necessary, is not the most important part of the vocation."
The priesthood and religious life are not a default position.
"Sometimes, people whose lives aren't going the right way say, 'I might as well become a priest' or 'I might as well go into the convent.' The seminary or the convent is not the place to run away from yourself."
It can be, instead, the place to discover "am I capable of loving the way God loves and Jesus loves," he said.
Father Campbell recently returned from a meeting of vocation directors in New Orleans, where it was said that Jesus is the vocations director in each diocese. "Our job is to accompany," he said. Vocations, he said, begin in the home and in parishes.
One of his parishioners at St. Monica in Moraga, where he served as pastor for nine years, is Rev. Mr. Mario Rizzo, who was ordained in August to the transitional diaconate for the Diocese of Oakland. Another former parishioner is in formation with the Dominicans of the Western Province.
Father Campbell invites men who are interested in joining the monthly discernment group or participating in a retreat Feb. 16-18 at St. Patrick's Seminary & University to contact him at 510-267-8345 or email@example.com.
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