A chance to ask questions
Valley vocations rally brings fun, information
By Sarah Malcore
APPLETON - More than 50 youths learned something about vocations
to priesthood and religious life and had a lot of fun at the same
time Aug. 1 at the first Fox Valley Steppin' Right with Jesus at
St. Thomas More Church.
Because of the success of the previous two Steppin' Right With
Jesus vocation awareness rallies at St. Agnes Church in Green
Bay, the Green Bay Diocese's Vocations Office decided to expand
the event to the Valley to give more youth a chance to meet Bp.
Robert Banks and other priests and religious.
"It is exciting to see kids interested in vocations," said Fr.
Tom Pomeroy, pastor of Holy Angels Parish, Darboy. "It is a
wonderful way for young people to reflect on their own vocation.
Every young person should be thinking about a religious vocation
as well as marriage or single life. It is their job to dream at
There was no lack of excitement among the youth.
"I got to meet a lot of new people, said Hanna Michaels, an 8th
grader from St. Francis Parish in Hollandtown. "We are learning
about God and the saints in a fun way, and it makes me feel
closer to God. The event made me consider sisterhood. I also
learned that whatever vocation I choose, God will love me just
Cameron Kerkhoff, a 6th grader from St. Thomas More Parish in
Appleton, said he "liked it because I got to learn what it would
be like to be a priest. This made me think about it more than I
did before. The best part was seeing Bp. Banks and getting my
The talks given by the priests and religious made an impact on
"I liked the talk by Fr. Greg (Plata, OFM), I learned that there
are different types of priests, and that God can call you in many
different ways," said 6th grader Trevor Uitenbroek of Holy Angles
"I liked everything we did, especially the talks by the sisters.
I learned so much that I didn't know before. I feel much closer
to Jesus now," said Stefanie Chilson, a 7th grader at St. Mary in
For Jackie LeCaptain, a 7th grader at Holy Cross in Mishicot,
"The water balloon volleyball was so fun, especially when it
turned into a water fight. Seeing priests and sisters having fun
like that was great. The talks were also very interesting. I will
for sure be back next year."
Among the participants were several high school students who
helped conduct the day's activities. Among them was Kurt Krauss,
a sophomore and a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Casco, who was
at his third Steppin' Right.
"This is a good experience-it helps people see different options
out there," Krauss said. "It gives you a chance to meet religious
people and to hang out with them. It is cool to see them at
church but still be able to spend time and have fun with them."
Anna Vosters, coordinator of youth ministry at St. Thomas More,
Appleton, said she was pleased by the turnout. "Steppin' Right
with Jesus is a great opportunity for middle school student to
really get to know and have fun with priests, sisters and
brothers. It was such a joy to see the excitement in so many
kids' eyes as Bp. Banks signed their T-shirts. What a valuable
opportunity for young people to learn about vocations."
Msgr. John Schuh, vice chancellor of the diocese agreed. "This is
an opportunity for a warm personal experience for the youth to be
with and share with the priests and sisters. It is a good effort
to promote vocations and togetherness."
"This is a great opportunity for kids to meet us, to question us,
and to learn more about what we do as priests, brothers and
sisters. Equally good, the enthusiasm and response in learning
more about our way of life. The kids have a real positive
attitude toward us," said Fr. Greg Plata, OFM, vocation director
of BVM Province of Franciscan Friars.
Sr. Laura Zelten, vocation director for the Sisters of St.
Francis of the Holy Cross, said "Steppin' Right gives young
people a chance to ask questions in a very non-threatening
environment. It is an opportunity to 'be' with priests and
sisters in a casual way. It is just a lot of fun!"
Bp. Banks, who spent the lunch hour meeting with the youth and
signing T-shirts, said, "It is great to see young people
interested in church. Encouragement of vocations starts when they
are young. Every priest and sister started thinking about his or
her vocation in grade school even if the decision came years
later. We need to be praying for parents to encourage vocations
to their children."
Details on next year's Steppin' Rights will be announced in