Youth reflect on Totus Tuus experience

| September 2, 2014 | 1 Comment

Young women and men in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis gathered Aug. 16 for a closer look at vocations. Below are some of their reflections from the events, held at the St. Paul Seminary and St. John Vianney College Seminary.

Milanna Fritz, 16, Sts. Peter and Paul in Loretto and St. Anne in Hamel

Daughter of God: Retreat for Young Women

“The retreat was a last-minute, hectic decision for me, as my alarm failed to go off and my father left without me. I forgot my glasses, cell phone and mantilla at home, and as I raced out the door, I had serious doubts about whether it was God’s will that I attend. I finally made it to the retreat and realized that it was going to be a huge blessing on my life, for many profound reasons.M.Fritz

First, I am considering religious life, but I have been a bit daunted to begin exploring different orders because I thought that there were no convents here in Minnesota. However, on this retreat I was able to speak with two sisters from two different orders, and I am now hoping to visit at least one of them as a continuation of my discernment process.

As for the retreat itself, I truly felt accepted and loved by those around me, even people whom I had never met before. As the day progressed, I found myself making friends and opening up my heart in small group discussions. Also, I really appreciated that Totus Tuus made a point of setting the retreat to a profound theme: obey, love, surrender; always say yes to God, and never be afraid to do His will. These are words that I need to hold in my heart at every moment of my life, but most especially in the next few months as I discern college options as well as religious life.

My spiritual journey has been slow but steady, and this retreat definitely helped me to take another step in realizing God’s absolute love for me and how much of myself I still need to surrender to him. I now feel that God is calling me to love him by listening to and obeying him, a lesson without price. Thank you, Totus Tuus!”


Joseph Hughes, 17, All Saints in Lakeville

Vocation Day for Young Men

Hughes“In a world that seems to be becoming increasingly secular, I find encouragement in attending events like [the archdiocesan Vocation Day for Young Men]. It’s very refreshing for me, as a teen, to see dozens of young men from this archdiocese step up and express an openness to something so much higher than themselves, young men who are seeking to respond to the knocking on the doors of their hearts.

I’m still far from finishing discerning God’s will for me and my vocation, but I did receive a fresh reminder while I was on this retreat. Whatever my vocation, the Eucharist is the source and summit of my life as a Christian. In the Mass, we hear the priest say, “Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” Whether I am called to married life, single life, religious life or priesthood, or any combination of the four, my vocation — my call — will be to the eucharistic banquet. Bearing this in mind, I ask for prayer for vocations and for the young men and women of our archdiocese, that our hearts might be open to God’s call and that we might have the strength to echo our Blessed Mother in saying, ‘Fiat.’ ”


Esteban Merkt-Navedo, 15, Holy Family in St. Louis Park

Vocation Day for Young Men

“I was drawn to this event because I have been contemplating the priesthood for a long time. I went to the same event last year for the same reason. Both times, I have been struck by the amount of peace and happiness I take away.Merkt

This event has inspired my faith life to be more resolute; I love being able to be in a chapel filled with a bunch of young men who love their faith and want to grow stronger in it. As a big fan of the traditional Mass, it’s really stirring to stand in a small chapel during Mass, with the celebrant being a former seminarian from St. John Vianney College Seminary and the St. Paul Seminary, and surrounded by your spiritual brothers singing in Latin the Sanctus, Angus Dei, and so on.

This event is great, it’s fun, spiritually and physically motivating, and I will continue to recommend and bring my friends to this wonderful event. Thanks, you all who host and make this a great event.

‘May the Lord bless thee and keep thee all the days of your life.’ ”


Stone Fritz, 13, Sts. Peter and Paul in Loretto and St. Anne in Hamel

Vocation Day for Young Men

“I gained plentiful knowledge about important things pertaining to vocations and the plan God has in mind for all of us. For example, I learned a great deal about the seminary and the life that a seminarian lives. I also had chances to sit down with a seminarian who could answer any questions about the seminary. During the Vocation Day for Young Men, I was deeply inspired spiritually to live my life in God’s plan.Fritz

The day started with mass and the most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. This was a great way to start the day off with our hearts and minds focused on our Lord Jesus Christ, and to prepare ourselves for the events to follow. We were blessed to have a number of speakers, as well as seminarians, share their amazing and inspiring stories of their journeys to their vocations. The day concluded with eucharistic adoration, and it was very spiritually enriching to spend close to an hour in prayer in front of our Lord.

This retreat greatly helped me open my mind and heart to different callings God has in store for my life. Although I am not yet aware of my vocation, this retreat helped me to further discern and gave me tools to continue to discern my vocation. One example of this is seeing the great bond of brotherhood and love for Jesus Christ among the seminarians urged me to continue contemplating a possible calling to the priesthood. This retreat was an amazing opportunity that I would recommend to all who seek information about vocations, would like to be enriched spiritually, or would like to explore God’s calling for their lives.”

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