Why You Should Attend the Archbishop’s Discernment Retreat – Zach Munoz

Dec 10, 2023

The Archbishop’s Discernment Retreat is a phenomenal occasion to learn more about the priestly vocation, to meet other men who are discerning, as well as an opportunity to meet some of the current seminarians, priests, and, of course, the Archbishop.

Admittedly, I attended the Archbishop’s Discernment Retreat in 2018 rather reluctantly. I had been feeling the call to discern the priesthood for several months, prompted by my parish priest, and I had grown frustrated with the persistence of the interior invitation to discern, to the point of vocalizing to God: “I will not do this.” One evening, after going to confession to confess that I had been disobeying what I believed God was asking me to do, I told my parish pastor I did not know why God would call me. I not only felt unworthy of the vocation, but I deeply wanted to be a husband and a father, which I believed to be contrary to that of the priesthood. In response, my pastor said: “Good. If you didn’t want those things, you’d make a horrible priest.” Confused, I asked him to explain to me how that made any sense. He continued:

“Zach, how can you be a faithful spouse to the Church and love Her like Christ if you didn’t desire to be a husband? How could you love the children of God, like a father, if you don’t desire to be a father? God is calling you to be a husband and a father, but maybe He is calling you in a different way.”

Attending the discernment retreat helped me to clarify that a vocation is the way in which God is calling you to love Him, and, through your love for Him, to love others in the most immediate and meaningful way possible. Furthermore, the retreat helped me to correct several misnomers that I had regarding the priesthood, which allowed me to support my priests more meaningfully.

With all this said, men, I leave you with this: In this pivotal moment of your spiritual journey; I urge you to earnestly consider the priesthood, and to attend the Archbishop’s Discernment Retreat. You should not view attending this retreat as an absolute “yes”; rather, as a crucial step towards gaining greater clarity regarding the vocation that God is calling you towards—whether it be holy matrimony or the sacred priesthood. While few are called to the priesthood, I am confident the more of us are being called, but, because of fear, few are responding. Seize this opportune moment with unwavering courage.

Seminarian Zach Munoz
Read Zach’s Story here: https://archdpdxvocations.org/seminarians/zach-munoz/

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