Father Gregory Galvin, Director of Priestly Vocations
During New Year’s week, more than 8,500 Catholic college students, Focus Missionaries, priests and religious from across the country and around the world gathered for a four-and-a-half-day national conference on the Catholic faith.
Its focus was how to be a disciple of Christ and how to draw others into His discipleship. Between 20 and 25 students from UCONN’s Storrs campus attended this phenomenal experience with four members of the UCONN FOCUS team.
We had the honor of attending Mass with the Apostolic Nuncio of the United States, His Excellency Archbishop Christopher Pierre, the Pope’s personal representative here in the United States. He offered Holy Mass as the main celebrant and attended three days of the conference.
We were also blessed with a visit from His Eminence, Cardinal Mueller from Germany. At one Mass, I counted 13 bishops present, each of whom spent much of the week with the students, priests, religious and other guests. What a blessing to be able to spend time with such a powerful part of God’s family!
During the two days I attended the conference, I spent much of my time at the National Vocation Director’s booth, Diocesanpriest.com. There I had the privilege of speaking to seminarians who are at different stages of their discernment. The highlight of this week was on New Year’s night, when all the students were invited to Adoration of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.
During that time an estimated 300 priests and bishops heard confessions for more than two hours. It’s truly inspiring to see so many young people flocking to the sacrament of confession. If anyone doubts that the Church is gaining strength in this country, all they have to do is attend a FOCUS event and see the spirit of God at work. The building of the Kingdom of God is still going in a great direction! Praise God! Plan on meeting me next year, when we gather for SEEK2021 in St. Louis.
As we look toward the Lenten season which begins February 26th, please keep our seminarians, young married couples, college missionaries and disciples of Christ in your prayers.
Pray that they will continue to grow in their faith, and while opening their hearts to Christ, truly discover the Father’s will for each of them.
May they all not hesitate to respond generously to our Lord with their own yes! May this decade of the 2020s be a period of great growth in faith for the whole Church and especially here in the United States.