Catholic Diocese of Dodge City 2017 - 2018 Seminarians
Summer Day with the Dodge City Seminarians
By JOHN STANG, a seminarian for the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City, attends St. John Vianney Seminary, in Denver.
Nearly 20 middle school and high school students took a day from their summer vacation to learn about discernment for the diocesan priesthood on July 8.
The “Summer Day with the Seminarians” provided a balance of talks on religious vocations, Mass, extended prayer time and physical activities, such as dodgeball and a relay race.
The Office of Priestly Vocations hosted the event held at St. Dominic Church in Garden City. Father Wesley Schawe, vocations director for the Diocese of Dodge City, began the day by asking the question: “What does it mean for us to be God’s co-worker?”
Father Schawe explained that God fashioned every person with certain skills, qualities and a vocation for their lives. A skill is an action that a person may perform, like a talent at music or sports. A quality is a gift or character trait exemplified by an individual. For example, someone might be a good listener or teacher.
Finally, a vocation is the state in life or mission given to a person by God: priesthood, marriage or single life.
“We have what God’s given to us, but it’s what we do with it,” Father Schawe said.
Father Schawe elaborated that the gifts given to us by God should be used to further his glory.
The Most Rev. John Brungardt celebrated Mass for the boys, with newly ordained Rev. Mr. Mark Brantley serving as deacon. Bishop Brungardt asked the young men to think about what it means to be a protector for those they serve as a father, whether as a spiritual or biological father.
[Seminarian John Stang, from Prince of Peace Parish in Great Bend, gave another talk on how to better listen to God’s call in prayer and answered some general questions about seminary life.]
“I learned that seminary life isn’t as easy as everyone thinks it is,” Omar Donjuan, 15, said.
The attendees then took some time in Eucharistic adoration to pray about the material presented. Matt Haselhorst, 17, said the adoration time allowed him to think about some questions he had about himself, reflecting on what he should fix.
The young men also competed against each other in dodgeball and a timed relay race. To test their creativity, they formed groups to construct towers out of Popsicle sticks, duct tape and paper to see how many books the tower could hold. Deacon Jacob Schneider organized the physical activities for the day.
The “Summer Day with the Seminarians” replaced two other events offered by the Office of Priestly Vocations, “Sports with the Seminarians” and “Companion Camp.” The “Companion Camp” was hosted at Conception Seminary College in Missouri. The July 8 event included teens from Dodge City, Garden City, Cimarron and other surrounding communities.