Vocation starts with prayers and encouragement

Vocation starts with prayers and encouragement
Seminarian Adam Cichoski speaks at Christ Our Light Parish in Cherry Hill on Nov. 9. Photo by James A. McBride

Seminarian Adam Cichoski speaks at Christ Our Light Parish in Cherry Hill on Nov. 9.
Photo by James A. McBride

On Nov. 8-9, Bishop Dennis Sullivan assigned the seminarians of the Camden Diocese to speak at parishes after Communion. Adam Cichoski spoke at Christ Our Light Parish in Cherry Hill. Following is an abridged version of his talk.

My family had a big impact on my life, and I am very thankful for them. Without my family, I would not be where I am today.

My family has had a lot of patience with me and they have always been there for me. When we were growing up, my mom would bring us to Mass each week. My parents came from two different faith traditions. My mom was raised Catholic, and she raised me and my brothers in this tradition. My father was raised Protestant, but together my parents formed a solid foundation built on the law of Jesus Christ, to love others. Even though they came from different faiths, they still had that common goal of loving others like we love God. I have witnessed their generosity and their love for others throughout my life. It was their examples that I hoped to follow as I was growing up. It was also their example that opened me up to a possible vocation. My mom worked for a parish in Millville, so through her I was able to see hardworking priests that loved their lives and enjoyed bringing people to Christ. They had that same love for others that my mom and dad had.

However, as I got into high school, things would change. My faith would be pushed to the back seat, and I would begin living for myself. For a long time, I was really lost in life. I had tried a few different careers, but I never felt really happy. There was something missing, but I couldn’t find it.

During this time, I know my family was praying for me. While prayer wasn’t the first solution on my list, it was definitely the first thing for my mom and dad. It was through their prayers that I would finally come around and get my life back in order. It would be through their encouragement that I would begin investigating this possible vocation as a priest. Through them, and my parish family in St. Michael the Archangel parish, I was able to follow God’s call. They gave me the courage and confidence I needed to “come and see” what this life was all about. They never gave up on me, and I am always going to be grateful for that.

We can tell a lot about ourselves from our families. The members of this parish family that I have met have all been kind and supportive of my vocation. As members of one family, we can have a great influence on those around us. Our faith is something that is constantly growing. Our parents have laid the foundation, and together the parish family helps build it up into something great.

God has created all of us for a reason. Today, we need to come together as a family and encourage those around us to think about the priesthood as a possible vocation. As St. Paul mentions in our second reading, “You are God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it.” All we can do is plant the seed of a vocation by mentioning it or suggesting it to a young man who we think would make a great priest. Then, once we have made this person aware of the good, priestly qualities they have, we have to pray that God will help the seed to grow.

Today, I want to invite all of those who have ever thought about the priesthood to make the next move and talk to someone about it.

I thank you again for all of your prayers and support. You really have a beautiful family here, and I feel very blessed to have been able to come here and speak with you today.

Categories: Latest News, Vocations

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