Dalton LaTessa, Dave Sebastian and Kevin Marston participated in the Friars’ collegiate internship program Franciscan for the Summer from mid-June to mid-August. The purpose of the program, led by Fr. Jim Loughran, SA, was for these young men to live, pray and participate in one of the ministries of the Friars as a means of discerning a call to religious life, most especially with the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement.

In their own words, here are powerful impressions that the Friars left upon each of these young men:

Dalton LaTessa:

“In discernment, I have discovered deeper what I have always known:  no matter what I do in life I want to be in service to God, his Church, and all his children.  What I didn’t know is that I would discover the beauty of religious life.  I used to think Friars were quiet, rosary praying, stone-faced men.  I have discovered they are loving, open people who see Christ in each other allowing them to constantly grow in their faiths.  In my discernment, I think I feel a stronger desire to community life because of these generous men who I have seen God truly working in.”

Dave Sebastian:

“This experience helped quell doubts and fears regarding religious life. I had fears that religious life would be quite hard and lonely.  I still understand that there will be challenges and difficulties with it, but it helps to know that there are times of laughter and enjoyment along with knowing you are in a community that is helping and praying with you in your crosses.  The idea that God wants us to enjoy the journey and that his glory is “a human being fully alive” (as St. Irenaeus stated) was evident by all the laughter had during the two months in the program.”

Kevin Marsten:

“This program has revealed to me some more specific parts of my call.  For one, I’ve come to something resembling acceptance of the fact that ministering to the homeless is part of my call.  I had always felt some stirring for people begging on the streets, a desire to help with no real ethical means to do so – I now have brought to my conscious mind this desire to use my life to help those we call homeless.  Alongside this, I’ve found a particular love for the Franciscan lifestyle, the idea of simplicity and poverty and a spirituality that puts one at peace with the world around, and promotes peace therein.”

Please pray for Dalton, Dave and Kevin as they discern where God is leading them.  May they respond generously to God’s call!