On this episode of the Vocation Stories podcast, Father Tyler talks with seven of the 8th grade boys who regularly attend the Savio nights held at the House of Discernment in Evansville, Indiana. Savio nights are a youth group of sorts, beginning with a time of fellowship and recreation followed by a time of corporate prayer, a homily by Father Tyler, and plenty of food for the 50-60 guys who attend weekly. This focused time of prayer and community provides the boys with a space to deepen their faith and consider what life path God may be calling them to.
Father Tyler interviewed Martin V., Aidan M., Blake H., Christian D., Mason H., Gunner K., and Ethan K., (pictured in order below) rising 9th graders at Reitz Memorial and Mater Dei High Schools in Evansville, Indiana. Beginning with conversations about their families and the ways that the Catholic faith has been demonstrated for them at home, the boys list their favorite saints—Saint Savio being one of the most frequently mentioned—and favorite prayers as well as why they enjoy serving in mass. Father Tyler then asks them their favorite things about their moms—she is understanding, a good listener, patient, intelligent, supportive, faithful, and selfless—and dads—he is logical, good with people, affectionate, persistent, attentive, motivated, and patient.
The conversation then shifts to what the boys think about priests and whether they feel called to be priests themselves one day. They describe priests as teachers, people who are called to lead the community to God, bridges that help people talk with God, and people committed to serving the community. The boys also perceive that priests make significant sacrifices in order to be priests, giving up the prospect of getting married and having children in exchange for this commitment to God and to their communities. Several of the boys that Father Tyler talked to have felt a specific call of God on their lives to discern the priesthood when the time comes, and they all seem to be confident in that calling, recognizing that God’s calling is always right and secure. One of the boys pointed out that he will not be happy in life until he is doing what God calls him to do.
When asked about significant spiritual moments in their lives, several of the boys described the moment when they felt God calling them to be priests. A few of the others talked about times when they sought God’s help or forgiveness through prayer, and they were met with the peace that surpasses all understanding and incredible clarity. Finally, Father Tyler asked the boys how they feel about going to high school next year. Overall, they are excited to grow personally, academically, and spiritually through new subjects, new teachers, and new friends. On the other hand, they are nervous to meet new people and have their horizons expanded and afraid of failing in some way and potentially squandering the gifts that God has given them.
Topics Covered in this Episode:
- Discerning the priesthood
- Catholic teenage discipleship
- Entering high school