The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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November 10, 2000 Issue
Local News

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 fourth grade.

"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 inspires me."

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. Paul, Cassetta's.

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 11 seminarians.


Who: Rory Cravillion

What: Second year college seminary student

Where: St. John Vianney College Seminary located on St. John Thomas Campus in St. Paul, Minnisota

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 Holy Trinity.

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]

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