You can’t drive a parked car: Attend vocation events to help discern

| Father Troy Przybilla | October 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

priestsThere’s an old saying, “You can’t drive parked car,” meaning you need to do something in order to go somewhere.

When applied to vocational discernment, in order to arrive at your vocation, you need to do something. Praying, reading, gathering information and talking to people are just a few things.

But there comes a time when you need to literally get in the car and drive. Everyone who is discerning the priesthood or religious life should attend events where they are able to talk to seminarians, priests and religious who are living the way of life that they are discerning. Thankfully, you don’t have to drive very far to do this. Here in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, we have a number of discernment events coming up in the next couple of months:

Miryam Dinner – Oct. 28
The name Miryam is an ancient version of Mary, whose “yes” to God changed the course of human history. Women ages 16 to 35 enjoy dinner and conversation with sisters at Archbishop John Nienstedt’s residence.

Borromeo Weekend  – Oct. 31
St. John Vianney College Seminary and the St. Paul Seminary celebrate the patron saint of seminarians, St. Charles Borromeo, with 40 hours of adoration over the weekend. The event begins with an opening Mass and a candlelight eucharistic procession from the University of St. Thomas chapel to St. Mary’s chapel. This is truly an inspiring sight to see. Everyone is welcome to attend, especially men discerning the priesthood. For more information, visit the event webpage.

Andrew Dinner – Nov. 4  
This dinner is named after St. Andrew, who brought his brother St. Peter to meet Jesus. In a similar fashion, pastors are encouraged to invite men ages 16 to 50 who have qualities of a good priest to meet the archbishop. If men are discerning and haven’t been invited, they can ask a priest to join them, or they may come on their own.

Vianney Visit – Nov. 13-15
High school and college-aged men are invited to visit St. John Vianney College Seminary for a couple days in order to experience what seminary life is like. Guys who have entered the seminary have said this event was the most beneficial in helping them make their decision. For more information, visit

Year for Consecrated Life Opening Celebration – Nov. 21
Pope Francis has called for a year to honor those who have consecrated themselves to Christ. Religious women and those who are discerning are invited to attend a talk given by Deborah Savage, St. Paul Seminary professor of philosophy and theology.

Come and See Retreat – Nov. 23
Men who have graduated from college or are close to graduating and are younger than 50 are invited to come to the St. Paul Seminary to see what seminary life is like. There will be Mass, talks, meals, fraternity and prayer.

Archbishop’s Retreat – Dec. 19-21
This is the main discernment event of the year. Archbishop John Nienstedt leads a retreat at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo for men who are interested in the priesthood. It’s the perfect place and time to step away from the anxieties of the world and rest in the peace of Christ.

(Unless otherwise noted, times and more detailed information can be found on the archdiocesan vocation’s website,

If you or someone you know is discerning a vocation but is stuck in park, I encourage you to shift into drive and attend one of these events. It’s only when we are moving that the Lord can steer us toward our vocation.

Safe travels!

Father Przybilla is director of vocations for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

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