Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

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

Diocese, university collaborate for men’s discernment group

the Inland Register

(From the Oct. 2, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

Men's discernment groupFather Darrin Connall, the Spokane Diocese's Vocations Director, makes a presentation during a recent gathering of young men discerning God's direction for their live. (IR photo from Bishop White Seminary)

In collaboration with the Vocation Office of the Diocese of Spokane, Gonzaga University is beginning its third year of sponsoring a discernment group for college-age men who are thinking about a vocation to the priesthood.

An average of 15 men come together once a month to ask questions, pray, and listen to presentations about the priesthood. The meetings are held in the Bishop White Seminary library and include a simple dinner of pizza and pop.

According to Father Darrin Connall, Director of Vocations, the group was started in response to a growing interest in priesthood on the Gonzaga campus. “We discovered that there were several guys who expressed interest in learning more about discernment and service as a priest, but were not yet ready to enter seminary,” said Father Connall. “This group provides a kind of middle ground where college men can talk about a vocation, get their questions answered and support one another in the discernment process.”

The group has already seen two of its members decide to enter the seminary. Joe Previtali was accepted into Bishop White Seminary in January of 2003 as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. He is currently a senior.

Previtali said that the Discernment Group gave him “a new awareness of priesthood and (made) the idea of seminary less intimidating.”

The other student who participated was Everett Buyarski. Everett entered Bishop White Seminary in September and is studying for the Diocese of Juneau.

“Joe and Everett are testimony to the value of having a discernment group on campus,” said Father Connall. “I hope that they will be the first of many to hear and answer God’s call to priestly service.”

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