UP Catholic 01 15 2016 E Edition Page 10

prayed on it, the more challenged I felt. However, I felt an abundance of peace. I know the peace I felt in dis- cerning was a great start. After graduating with his associate degree from Bay College in Escanaba in 2013, Flagstadt decided to take some time off from school. During this period of time, he worked at the Bishop Noa Home in Escanaba. While working there, he was strongly influ- enced by the sisters. I was challenged by and highly respected the Sisters of St. Paul that ministered at the Bishop Noa Home. He pointed out that his parents were the first teachers of the faith to him and have encouraged him to follow his vocation. My parents gave me a won- derful life of faith since I was born, where family life revolved around our parish. My parents continue to be role models to me of faith, perseverance and an enduring marriage. For Matthew Chartier of St. Barbara Parish in Vulcan, a 2015 graduate of Norway High School, it was not only his parents and grandmother who helped him discern, but also by being active in his high school youth group. I had a great high school youth group that helped me express my faith. It was through this froup he was able to partici- pate in various activities that aided him in his faith and discernment. Steubenville conferences really brought my faith alive and helped me grow in love with Jesus and his presence in the Eucharist. Also, going on a mission trip with Father Ryan Ford gave me a love for service and volunteering. Chartier strongly began to discern the priesthood after attending a Youth Encounter weekend during his junior year of high school. My discernment really started from Youth Encounter, which was spiritually amazing for me. It helped me grow not only in friend- ship with other Christians, but also helped me grow in my prayer life, he explained. My close friends from Youth Encounter have helped me and challenged me in a lot not only in my faith, but also my discernment. Youth Encounter is a weekend-long retreat where high school aged students from various Christian faiths come together to deepen their encounter with Christ. The retreat is held twice a year at Marygrove Retreat Center in Garden, and is led completely by youth peers. Much like Flagstadt and Chartier, Brother Romeo Cappella also dis- cerned his calling through his parishs youth group. I first heard God's call to be a priest when I was 16 years old. I was not absolutely sure if priesthood was my lifes calling, but I knew I needed to pray and discern if that was my call, he explained. I started to pray about it and asked God to lead me, and he did. In the summer of 2009, prior to his senior year of high school, Broth- er Cappella attended a Steubenville conference where he was convicted to really follow Christ and his plan. It was that week- end that sparked Brother Cappella to start lis- tening to God closer in prayer through reading the scrip- tures. During my senior year a priest en- couraged me to call the vocation's office. After doing so, I was invited to a discern- ment weekend. I went and really enjoyed it and felt the call even more to join. Brother Cappella, though from Southgate, Mich., located below the Mackinac Bridge, is studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Mar- quette. Brother Cappella originally entered Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 2010 to study for the Archdio- cese of Detroit. However, last year he discerned religious life with the Companions of Christ the Lamb in Paradise, Mich., now making him a seminarian for the Diocese of Mar- quette. Confidence in God and the gift of his calling has been a light for me along this path of discernment, Brother Cappella added. To view photos and a complete list of all the seminarians currently studying for the Diocese of Mar- quette, see page 11. 10 January 15, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC VOCATIONS www.upcatholic.org SEMINARIANS: Three men begin formation for diocese COURTESY PHOTO Matthew Chartier smiles for a photo after be- ing turned into a human sundae while serving as a Totus Tuus missionary in the Diocese of Marquette in 2015. Dcn. Jernej utar Br. Michael Kowalewski Each vocation is a precious gift from God. The members of Companions of Christ the Lamb thank God for the graces he has given Deacon Jernej, Brother Michael and Brother Romeo in their calling and promise to continue to support them with our prayers and sacrifices. Br. Romeo Capella St. Mary Queen of Peace Church - From Father Michael Woempner, the Staff and Parishioners of Dustin Larson, Thank you for your Spirit-filled presence. We have enjoyed being part of your discernment process. Our prayers are with you and all of our Diocesan Seminarians . You continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. May God abundantly bless you! - Your St. Joseph Parish Family Laurie Sullivan FROM PAGE 1 COURTESY PHOTO Brother Romeo Cappella during the diocesan seminar- ian retreat held in 2015.

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