Vocation traced to 4th grade
While serving Mass, a sense of sacredness attracted Casco youth
Third in a series about the diocese's seminarians
By Sarah Malcore
For Rory Cravillion, the initial attraction to priesthood came at age 11 when he was in
"As an altar server, I could see closely what was happening at Mass," says Cravillion.
"There was a sacredness that I could see and sense which attracted me."
Seeing the devotion of his pastor affected his decision. "Fr. Richard Gilsdorf gave all his
time to his parish helping people spiritually. I needed his help many times and he was
always there. His example caused me to start thinking about the priesthood," Cravillion
said with affection. "He leads a simple life, and is close to God by the way he lives. That
When Cravillion was a junior in high school, one of the Carmelite sisters at the
Robinsonville monastery asked him to serve at Sunday Mass. Cravillion was happy to do
so and served the 7 a.m. mass each Sunday as a high school junior and senior.
As a senior, he had questioned whether devoting his life to God would be the right
decision. Serving Mass in Robinsonville helped him decide that God was calling him to
become a priest.
"I had to think about this a lot, but I would describe (the call) as a feeling that this is what
God wants," Cravillion said.
He said his family supports his decision and that he maintains contact with Fr. Gilsdorf,
who continues to play a positive role in his life.
Cravillion graduated in 1999 from Luxemburg-Casco High School and entered the
seminary college in September 1999.
Cravillion says he enjoys the seminary. "Being with other guys working for a common
goal, having an excellent spiritual director Fr. O'Neill and rector Fr. Baur, and the
convenience of having a chapel right in the building is great"
When asked if there is anything he does not like about the seminary, his only complaint
was, "the chapel in the dorm building is not big enough."
In his spare time, Cravillion enjoys practicing the organ, which he began playing as a
freshman in high school. His older sister had played the organ for a few years before he
started, so he went to practice with her from time-to-time.
Cravillion is working toward a double major in philosophy and music performance with
an emphasis in organ. He's also proud of the antique reed organ he restored. He keeps it
at home, and Rory jokingly commented that, "due to the size, I would have to sleep on
the organ if I took it to school."
Cravillion also enjoys making stained glass windows, a sacred art he has been interested
in and experimented with since he was in eighth grade. He went to ask about lessons and
they told him to come back in a few years. Instead, Cravillion taught himself the craft by
reading about it.
When Cravillion has a chance, he likes to relax, and enjoys watching Seinfeld. He likes
any Alfred Hitchcock movie, but his favorite movie is The Gladiator. Cravillion's
favorite food is pizza, which he enjoys eating often at his favorite Italian restaurant in St.
Cravillion's advice for men interested in looking into priesthood is "find a good priest to talk to, build a relationship with that priest. Receive the sacraments frequently, and do some spiritual reading."
(Malcore is an intern in the diocesan Vocations Office.)
Editor's note: To learn more about the Green Bay Diocese's other seminarians, e-mail your name and
address to [email protected] or call (920) 437-7531 to receive a free book about all
Who: Rory Cravillion
What: Second year college seminary student
Where: St. John Vianney College Seminary located on St. John Thomas Campus in St.
Background: Born in 1980 and grew up with one older sister, two younger sisters, and a
younger brother in the small rural town of Casco, where his home parish is
Parents: Kathy Cravillion, a food quality specialist at Cherney Microbiological Inc. food
lab, and Dennis Cravillion, a carpet and linoleum installer and a salesman.
E-mail: [email protected]
Interested: For more information on vocations to priesthood or religious life, phone Fr.
Doug LeCaptain at (920)437-7531 or toll-free at 1-877-500-3580, ext. 8293, or by e-mail, [email protected]