Franciscan for the Summer participants pictured in Sant’Onofrio Church in Rome with Fr. Jim Puglisi, SA. Left to right: Dalton LaTessa, Fr. Jim, Dave Sebastian and Kevin Marston.

Kevin Marston, Dave Sebastian and Dalton LaTessa are participants in the Friars’ collegiate internship program Franciscan for the Summer. For two months during the summer, these young men are living, praying and studying with the Friars, including taking the Friars’ Rome summer course, “Ecumenical and Interreligious Movements from a Catholic Perspective.” The program emphasizes discernment of God’s call—especially whether they are called to religious life, perhaps as a Friar of the Atonement.

Below are excerpts from their discernment journeys, which offer inspiration for us all:

Dalton LaTessa is exploring the meaning of vocation: “We do not find our vocation through what brings us security, but rather through what brings us complete joy and gives our lives purpose. I am now trying to reflect more not only on what pleases God as my vocation, but also what simultaneously brings me contentment.”

Kevin Marston is discerning whether he is called to priesthood or marriage: “Part of me wants to get married and have kids, and have that life full of the version of Love we all hear. I want a wife, to see when I wake up and think, ‘what did I ever do to deserve a partner like this.’ I want to have children, to give them everything I have and teach them in all the ways I’ve thought, ‘if I had kids, I’d’… But then [during a recent time of prayer], the call I heard to be a priest felt as clear and loud, if not more so, than any of that.”

Dave Sebastian was inspired by visiting Assisi, the home of St. Francis and St. Clare: “These were just simple folks who were going about their business like we all do…They showed that anyone and everyone are called to be saints and witness to Jesus, all in their unique way. If we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us…then He can do wondrous things in us with a little faith, hope, and love.”

Please pray for Kevin, Dalton, and Dave as they discern where God is leading them. May they inspire and remind us, in the words of Dave, “that anyone and everyone are called to be saints and witness to Jesus.” Answering God’s call to grow in holiness—to be saints—never ends. Blessings on your discernment