Oh, the places I go! While traveling to hold a workshop in the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, which is just outside of Chicago, Serra US Executive Director John Liston (pictured far right) set up a meeting for me with Fr. Francis Bitterman, the Vocation Director from the Archdiocese of Chicago (pictured in the middle). In all honesty, while excited about the possibilities that could come from this meeting, I figured that Fr. Francis was just being polite in taking the time to meet with me. I was so wrong!
First, I was not just meeting with Fr. Francis, but also the Associate Vocation Director Fr. Mike (pictured left) and Sr. Lovina, the director of Chicago Archdiocese Vocations Association (CAVA) (pictured second from right)!
Secondly, when Fr. Francis walked in I noticed that he had a copy of Hundredfold in his hand. Then, when we started to talk, he was quoting the book TO ME! I promise you that is a surreal moment! You would think I would be used to the Holy Spirit knocking my socks off by now, but that was on a whole new level!
As always, God’s timing is perfect! Chicago was just coming out with details about the decline in priests, so my message was embraced whole heartedly! I was invited to come back in the fall to speak to the clergy and then a month later hold a workshop for the parishioners.
After the meeting, we were given a short tour of the Archdiocesan offices which are in what used to be known as High School Seminary. Their chapel was tremendous with stain glass colors that danced around the chapel.
I look forward to meeting parishioners and clergy alike in Chicago in the fall! Please pray for me as I am praying for all of you!
God bless you! St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us!