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Portrait of a vocation: “It was this kind of awakening”


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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 04/04/15

In a rarity for a secular newspaper, The Day in Connecticut has a profile of a young man discerning a vocation to the priesthood:

Michael Bovino never thought his family was overly religious. They said grace before dinner and he participated in religious education classes at their parish, St. Michael the Archangel in Pawcatuck, but “I was just going through the motions,” he said.

It was the same with Sunday Mass. He went every week with his parents and brothers, “but I definitely wasn’t always willing and eager, at least when I was a youngster.”

As he grew older, his feelings about his faith began to change, dramatically so during his junior year at UConn. That spring, he joined college students from around the country on a mission trip to Kentucky.

“These students that I encountered, they talked about their faith, and God and Jesus, like they were real people you could know, and I found it kind of weird at first,” he said. “But reflecting back later, I realized that they had this sense of joy, of contentment, that I didn’t have, and their witness really resonated with me.”

Back in Storrs, Bovino couldn’t get them out of his mind.

“For me, it was this kind of awakening to this sense that these people were living their faith, and this realization that there was substance to why they were doing it,” he said.

He had been going to Sunday Mass on campus since starting at Storrs, but after the trip he began attending daily Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel there.

“I was seeking other people like them, and I went looking at church.”

He soon met a missionary from the 16-year-old Fellowship of Catholic University Students.

The Rev. Gregory Galvin, director of priestly vocations for the Diocese of Norwich, described the group’s two-part mission: helping bring young people back to the church and encouraging vocations.

“In parishes they are talking about new evangelism, and this probably right now is the most effective tool we’ve got. This and prayer,” he said.

There’s much more. Continue reading.

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