By Father John Szatkowski
Special to The Texas Catholic
In the coming months, the Office of Vocations for the Dallas Diocese will be hosting two St. Andrew Dinners at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving.
Posters and registration cards for these events will be appearing in your parish over the coming weeks, and I appreciate everyone’s help in promoting these gatherings for men of college and high-school.
First things first – why do these discernment events reference St. Andrew? Did the church arbitrarily pick one of the apostles after whom to name these dinners? The Eastern Church refers to St. Andrew as the Protokletos – the “first called.” We find in the Gospel of John that John the Baptist invited Andrew to follow our Lord, and Andrew then invited Simon Peter to follow Jesus, as well.
I have no doubt that there are many young men within the Dallas Diocese who have an interest in serving our Lord as a diocesan priest but are unsure of how to pursue this or simply find a forum for discussing their discernment. In other words, there are many young men out there simply waiting for an invitation to enter into further dialogue regarding one’s discernment of a vocation to the priesthood. The model of John the Baptist bringing Andrew to our Lord, of course, has tremendous implications for each of us regarding our call to bring to Jesus those around us. It also stands as an incredible model for us today in terms of inviting men to consider serving our Lord as a priest. Some simply need that nudge, and an invitation to a St. Andrew Dinner is precisely that!
A St. Andrew Dinner stands as an opportunity for young men who might be considering a vocation to the priesthood to gather with Bishop Kevin J. Farrell and priests of the Dallas Diocese. This informal gathering consists of prayer, Eucharistic Adoration, a meal, and time to hear from and speak with Bishop Farrell and priests and seminarians of the Dallas Diocese regarding discerning one’s vocation. This is a “no obligation” type of event – it is simply an invitation to dialogue and learn.
There will be two St. Andrew Dinners in the coming months. The first is for young men of the college age, and that will be on Monday, Jan. 7. The event for young men in high school will be on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Both events will be at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving and will begin at 5 p.m. Please call the Office of Vocations at 214-379-2860 to register for these events.
Father John Szatkowski is the director of the Office of Vocations for the Diocese of Dallas and may be reached at 214-379-2899 or firstname.lastname@example.org.