“The Lord is calling you to a specific vocation and each step that you take with him will help you hear his voice with more clarity”

Dec 18, 2023

To my brothers in the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon who are discerning their vocation, It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since I was in a position much like your own.As a faithful Catholic, I was feeling called more and more to follow Christ. In my case, I had become quite settled into a good routine. I had worked hard in school and in my profession to develop a successful career, I was living in a community that I loved with friends and family who supported me. However, interiorly I was not quite as settled.

It may have been seeds planted by fellow parishioners, who would ask me if I had ever considered priesthood. It certainly had a lot to do with my deepening prayer life, and the joy that I experienced in ministry at the parish. At some point I realized that Christ was calling me, I just wasn’t completely certain where. I spent more than a few holy hours before the Lord, trying to convince him that the plan that I had mapped out for myself was working, with just a little help from him it would be perfect! But the calling persisted; I felt torn between my hopes of being a loving husband and father, and the possibility of another form of fatherhood. I finally started having conversations with the vocations director and he invited me to attend the Archbishop’s Discernment Retreat.

To be honest, I was nervous when I first got there. However, that feeling quickly went away as I began to meet the other guys who had shown up for the retreat. It was comforting to realize that I was not alone. Sometimes in the parish it can feel like maybe you’re the only one who is discerning the call to priesthood. As I settled into the retreat, I was impressed by the diverse backgrounds of the men. Some were just finishing high school, some were in college, others in
between. We were from all corners of the Archdiocese and beyond. I couldn’t help but think that only the Lord could be responsible for gathering such an eclectic group, we were all so different, yet we had one thing in common… we loved the Lord, and we were open to learning how to better discern his call.

If you are reading this letter, I imagine that you might fit that description too. The Archbishop’s Discernment Retreat is a perfect event to go to if you think that Christ might be calling you to a deeper discernment of the priesthood. It is an opportunity to meet other men who are discerning, you will meet seminarians, the vocations director, and of course, our wonderful shepherd Archbishop Sample. You will hear testimonies, and talks about discernment, priestly formation, and the life of a priest. If you are considering joining the retreat this year, I can only encourage you to take this next step in discernment. The Lord is calling you to a specific vocation and each step that you take with him will help you hear his voice with more clarity; this retreat is an opportunity to do just that.

Your Brother in Christ,
Rev. Dustin Nicholas Busse
Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart Parish in Medford

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