From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Gonzaga University, diocesan Vocations Office sponsor Vocation Fair

the Inland Register

(From the March 20, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

Father Daniel Barnett visits with Carmelite Sisters from Alhambra, Calif. Father Barnett is pastor of St. Patrick and St. Francis Xavier parishes in Spokane. (IR photo from the Vocation Office)

On the last Friday in February, the Crosby Student Center at Gonzaga University was the site of a day-long Vocation Fair. The event was a collaborative effort between University Ministry and the Vocation Office of the Diocese of Spokane.

Over 20 different Religious communities and organizations were represented at the fair, including most of the Religious serving in and around the Spokane area.

In addition to local communities, representatives from the Holy Cross Fathers, in Notre Dame, Ind.; Dominican Sisters of Nashville, Tenn.; the Carmelite Sisters of Alhambra, Calif.; and the Dominican Sisters of Ann Arbor, Mich., also sent their Vocation Directors.

“Having Sisters from different orders here really broke down some of my preconceived notions about nuns, especially nuns in habits,” said Gonzaga University junior Michaela Kearns.

The Vocation Fair was not limited just to priesthood and Religious life. Representatives from Engaged Encounter as well as the Office of Deacon Formation for the Diocese of Spokane were also on hand to answer questions.

Each group was given a table and the opportunity to speak directly with students and pass out literature. The Poor Clare Sisters of Spokane handed out free coffee mugs bearing the address of their web site. Seminarians from Bishop White Seminary passed out holy cards, literature, and frisbees printed with the seminary logo.

Throughout the day each of the groups made a formal presentation on a stage set up in the Center. The presentations ranged from the playing of musical instruments to detailed descriptions of an order’s apostolate. Holy Names Sister Cathy Beckley, her community’s Vocations director, gathered nearly a dozen of her Sisters dressed in matching red vests to sing a song and share their own dreams about Religious life.

Organizers were assisted by members of the Gonzaga University Discernment Group who hosted each of the vocation representatives at lunch in the COG. This gave students additional access to the representatives and allowed an even wider variety of students to ask questions about a particular vocation.

According to Gonzaga Univesity sophomore John Ferrigan, “It was truly inspiring to be around such holy people and it was good to be exposed to orders I hadn’t previously known about. It is great to hear that many orders are thriving.”

The day concluded with a Mass for Vocations in the recently renovated Gonzaga University Student Chapel. The principal celebrant for the Mass was Father Darrin Connall, Vocation Director of the Diocese of Spokane and rector of Bishop White Seminary. Assisting at the Mass were Bishop White seminarians Joe Previtali and Joshua Haxton.

According to Jesuit Father Matthew Gamber, Associate Director of University Ministry and Spiritual Director for Bishop White, the university intends to repeat the event next year.

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