Back at Mount Angel Seminary, reflecting on our pilgrimage as Helena Boys, I am struck by one thing predominantly -- and that is, what a powerful message of hope and joy in Christ and the priesthood the Helena Boys were able to give the people of God. (Just check out the pictures on the blog ... everyone's smiling!) Wearing our clericals, the guys throwing the football around, exuding energy and spirit ... people responded to that. We had parents come up with their children and thank us for inspiring their sons. Others thanked us for providing such a positive image of the priesthood. Some people took pictures of us. Others yelled out, "Thank you for your 'yes'!" A bus full of university students on pilgrimage cheered when we got on. This wasn't all about us ... it was about HOPE for the Church, and showing the positive face of the priesthood and a life given in service of Christ and His people.
And I must say that the response we got from the people of God in turn helped boost my vocation. I am also grateful for the opportunity this pilgrimage provided for me to get to know my brothers from St. John's seminary. I am privileged to be a part of this diocese, and especially to be considered one of The Helena Boys, who are a fine group of good, faith-filled men with a deep love for Christ and His Church.
Thank you to the diocese of Helena and all our benefactors for making this pilgrimage possible.