Being ‘Worthy of the Call’ to Religious Life and Priesthood with Holy Cross

Owen Williams ‘13

Close up of the famous Golden Dome, which sits...

It’s kind of funny that I’m writing the first story I’ve ever written for the Edsman as an alum, but I am excited to finally get to do it—even if it’s after I graduated!  When I heard about your theme for this school year, Worthy of the Call, I couldn’t help but get excited.  For those of you who have no idea who I am and why I’m writing for the Edsman as a graduate, my name is Owen Williams, and I graduated from St. Edward this past June with the Class of 2013.  I am currently in my first year of formation for religious life and priesthood in the Congregation of Holy Cross at the University of Notre Dame.  As we were reminded several times at Seminarian Camp last week, formation is a very in depth and long process, and I have only just begun.  In fact, I’m not even totally sure that God is calling me to be a Holy Cross Priest yet, but I felt a strong enough call to take the next step in my discernment, and enter the seminary.

In St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, he talks about “living in a manner that is worthy of the call.”  I’m sure that phrase has been pounded into your heads since the first day of school, but I think it’s important as students attending a Holy Cross Institution to seriously consider what God is calling us to do in life.  For me, God’s call is to priesthood and religious life in the Congregation of Holy Cross.  For you, it might be something different, or it could be the same, but you will never truly know what God is calling you to do in life unless you pray about it.  When thinking about entering the seminary, I hesitated because I didn’t feel like I was worthy to join the Great Band of Men that is the Congregation of Holy Cross.  I didn’t feel like I had lived a holy enough life thus far to join them in the seminary, but after praying, speaking with priests such as Fr. Drew Gawrych, C.S.C., and reflecting on my call, I came to the conclusion that we are all called to be worthy of the call to be children of God.  We are all called to “live in a manner that is worth of the call”, and we are all called to excellence at everything we do.  How we answer that call from God is completely up to us, and is completely within our control.

In my experiences so far as a Holy Cross Seminarian, I have learned human beings are not perfect.  We are not free from original sin.  The other seminarians that I have met and grown close to over the past few weeks have made it clear that God is not calling us to be perfect.  In fact, he is calling us to follow him, and answer his call.  St. Edward High School’s 2013-14 theme of “Living in a Manner Worthy of the Call” is something that, I think, all people should strive for.  All people should be eager to follow God’s call, and as Holy Cross Students, all Edsman, especially, should be eager to strive for excellence each day, while giving glory to God at the same time.

So, in conclusion, I urge all of you to live in a manner that is worthy of the call we all have received from God.  When you see a fellow Edsman in need, help him out.  When you are struggling to complete that research paper, study for that exam, or finish that project, think of God’s call for you to strive for excellence in everything that you do.  Live in a manner worthy of the call.  That is what I strive to do each day in seminary formation.  I ask God to show me the way, and I trust that he will eventually lead me to where he is calling me to be, whether that’s Holy Cross Priesthood or something different.  We are all here on Earth to do God’s will, and if we do that, we will make a difference, and we will live in a manner that is worthy of the call.

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