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Chapter 1

Why Did I Fear?

Fr. Gerard Francik

S ometimes it’s not clear to us what God’s call is in our lives. It can seem very mysterious. But what I’ve witnessed again and again, especially in my work now as vocation director for our diocese, is that if we believe that God is calling us and we respond in faith, he will confirm that call with a sense of his joy, presence, and peace. That has certainly been the case in my own life.

God spoke very clearly to me one morning as I was walking across my college campus. I had been in one major freshman year, and then had changed to another—mass communications. (Funny that God used that in a different way!) I enjoyed my classes, was getting good grades, and had completed several internships.

But something was missing. I just couldn’t imagine myself working in this field every day from nine to five. I thought that after a few years, I would get bored. So what should I do? That day God spoke very clearly in my mind. No lightning bolts or thundering voices from mountaintops, just a clear thought: “Be a priest.” Of course I ran away from the idea, thinking it was the strangest thing in the world. But looking back, I can see what had contributed to this “idea.”

A newly ordained priest had just arrived the year before in my parish. His life looked great. People loved him; he loved the liturgy and the people. In him I saw a bit of myself. I had always loved the liturgy, music, and my faith, but with his encouragement, I


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