GREEN BAY — Esto Vir, a Catholic men’s group based in Green Bay, will be hosting a Walk for Vocations on Saturday, Aug. 6, at the Cofrin Arboretum Conservation Trail at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus. This two-mile walk is an opportunity to meet with diocesan seminarians and hear their stories. Any proceeds will go to the Diocese of Green Bay Vocation Office.
“People will often say they don’t get a good chance to meet our seminarians,” said Fr. Daniel Schuster, director of the Vocation Office for the Diocese of Green Bay. Esto Vir is providing the opportunity for the community “to support the seminarians, help make them more visible and encourage families to go get to know them.”
The seminarians are in varying stages of formation. “Each summer (the seminarians) get an assignment or they get some sort of work, depending on their level. This summer we’ve had guys in Guatemala, in the Dominican Republic, Kansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Rome and England,” said Fr. Schuster. Most men are in the seminary for six to eight years, studying philosophy and theology.
“Mostly all of them come back together this time of year because we have a retreat together the first full week in August.” said Fr. Schuster. “It’s a unique time for the diocese. The only time you’ll see this many seminarians together.”
This event marks the end of the summer assignments and the start of a new school year as the seminarians head back to their respective seminaries.
Building a “culture of vocations,” as Fr. Schuster referred to it, requires the assistance of the whole community. “We’ve got to get the message to the families, how Jesus calls each person, man and woman, to live according to their vocation,” said Fr. Schuster. “Encourage, pray and support” are the best means by which the community can help the seminarians, he said. A financial contribution is another way to help.
The weekend of Aug. 6 and 7 also kicks off the annual seminarian collection. The funds raised during the collection help pay for tuition, books, room and board, health care and other needs of seminarians. Last year, over $865,000 was raised in support of the diocesan seminarians.
During the Walk for Vocations, the seminarians will lead the group in prayer and meditation while observing God’s natural creations on the trail. The trail at UWGB is mostly gravel and woodchips, so it is not ideal for strollers. There are hills and uneven surfaces. Pets are not allowed on the Cofrin Arboretum trail.
Participants will receive a T-shirt and a prayer card. This card will contain the name of a seminarian. Participants are asked to keep the prayer card and pray a nine-day novena for the seminarian.
There are several ways to register for this event. Registration at the event begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, Aug. 6. Interested persons can register before the event online at estovir.com. A mail-in registration form can also be found on this site.
For more information about the Walk for Vocations or Esto Vir, contact Ray Marchi at (906)-367-2800. For more information about the seminarian collection, contact Fr. Daniel Schuster either by email, [email protected], or by phone at (920) 272-8293.