Educating the Youth
As one of the areas of priestly formation, Apostolics is an important focus in my life. This year, I attended the Wednesday evening religious education program at St. Joseph Parish in Parnell, just 10 minutes north of Conception. Our program is small, with many of the grades combined. The other men and I who go to St. Joseph sit in on classes to offer insight, occasionally lead a class, and help with other activities such as training mass servers.
My experience of Apostolics now as a college junior is very different from what it was two years ago. I used to see Apostolics as another assignment, just another thing required of us. Now, however, I see the beauty in going out to the people of the Church and being an example of holiness and a source of knowledge that leads to Christ. God has called me to pursue a priestly vocation, which has stemmed from a deep love for the Church that He has placed in my heart. It is very life-giving to be able to share the love God has given me with those to whom I minister.
This hands-on work has been very formative for me, teaching me the importance of prayer in my ministry, of trusting God and being an instrument, of giving all of myself to the Church, and practical knowledge of working with others for a divine purpose. Apostolics allow me to enter into a school of love in practice.
– Garrett Hugeback
Diocese of Sioux City
Pastoral Formation takes seminarians beyond the classroom and the seminary community to direct and ongoing interaction to serve a variety of people. This outreach dimension of priestly formation, called “Apostolics” offers seminarians experiences related to catechesis and parish life, accompanying the poor, sick, and hungry.
Accompanying Victims of Abuse
This year, my final year of formation at Conception Seminary College, my apostolic assignment is with the North Star Advocacy Center in Maryville. North Star specializes in accompanying victims of any abuse. My apostolic role is to be present to and accompany the women with whom we are working. This
theme of accompaniment is very prevalent in this sort of work, as Christ calls us throughout the Gospels to be present and love those who are lowly. During the course of Jesus’s life on earth, He was constantly being present to and actively loving those who
would have been destitute and lowly, often rejected by their communities. In the same way, we are called to show mercy to the abuse victims we work with at North Star, along with all those we encounter in our daily lives. We are called to help restore within them a sense of dignity that was taken away through their experiences.
Working with these women has been a very fruitful experience that I will carry in my heart for the rest of my life. Most especially, I am grateful to have had the privilege to experience their joy and hope, despite everything they have been through. I noticed their joy and hope very quickly upon meeting them for the first time, and it has continued to be a significant grace throughout our time together. Joy is contagious, after all, and the joy and hope that they can spread through their witness and courage will undoubtedly impact the lives of others for a very long time.
– Dominick Denney
Archdiocese of Oklahoma City