When Catholic couples experience trouble getting pregnant, they often seek medical help and begin to research what options are available to them. A number of moral considerations and questions generally emerge during this process: Why are techniques like in vitro fertilization (IVF) considered immoral? What approaches will the Church allow us to try? What does our infertility mean, spiritually and personally, in the face of our fervent but frustrated desire for a baby?
With a huge grin and hearty laugh, Father Raymond Urbanek quickly describes his status as a senior priest: “It’s wonderful! I can celebrate Mass and then go home. I don’t have to worry about finances, signing people up for committees or listening to complaints. The hard part for me now is preparing my homilies. Between my illness and age, my concentration isn’t what it used to be.” With a twinkle in his eye, he adds, “My homilies have gotten shorter, which probably makes people happy.”
Readers met Paul Fahey in the 2008 teen issue of FAITH Magazine. Back then, Paul told us that he wanted to study theology in college and become a youth minister. Unlike some teens whose plans change as they hit campus, Paul never wavered. Today, he is the director of religious education at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Fowler.
How did you know you were called to the priesthood?
I began receiving promptings from the Lord when I was in second or third grade. The idea of priesthood came into my head and wouldn't go away. At the time, I didn't think anything of it (I didn’t know what it was), but looking back I can see it for what it was ... the beginning of God calling me.
Conversion often begins in the heart – a tugging, an inkling, a flash of something that leads to an exploration of the Catholic faith.
For Morgan Morrison, it was the other way around. The 19-year-old joined the Catholic Church at Easter this year, receiving the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and first Communion at the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Anthony of Padua in Hillsdale.
Morgan, a freshman at Hillsdale College, says he’s been drawn to Catholicism for several years, and that his conversion began intellectually – with unanswered questions about Christianity.
“I was four years old, lying in my parents’ feather bed, burning with fever and unable to raise my head or legs. My dad scooped me into his arms, wrapped me in my pink blanket and carried me to Mom waiting in the car. But when we got to the emergency room at the University of Michigan hospital, the attendant turned us away.