Fr. Vince Kuna, C.S.C, has sent in his latest blog entry telling of his adventures as a parish priest out in Colorado Springs, CO. It is a story of how God, in His Divine Providence, always supplies us with what we need to fulfill His call in our lives.
This month I traveled to New Orleans as chaplain for the Diocese of Colorado Springs contingent to the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry. On the occasion of spending a festive weekend in this rebuilding, yet thoroughly Catholic city, it gave me pause to consider, how did I get here? … Conscription is the short answer.
I arrived in Colorado Springs straight out of seminary, and a temporary vacancy arose in the parish for the position of youth minister. My pastor figured: What better way to fill that position for a year than to task the transitional deacon with it? He apparently didn’t consider that I brought with me no experience, formal education, or training in the important field of youth ministry.
What I did bring with me, however, were the kind words of our Field Education Director from our Master’s of Divinity Program who said in our last meeting together: “Vince, I trust that you can do any ministry within the Church.” Keeping those words as my mantra, I administered capably as youth minister for the Tri-Community. I must credit the former youth minister (now a friend of mine who teaches at the local Catholic high school) with having the year’s schedule already in place. Most of my personal signature to the program was introducing the youth to liturgical traditions of the church: Adoration, Tenebre, and Advent lesson and carols. I trust also that their practice of the faith post-Confirmation is somehow related to the many hours I put in managing the youth ministry program and making the faith exciting and relevant to teenagers.
o I find myself in Colorado Springs already knowing the answer to: “How did I get here?” Surrounded by catechists from my parish and other youth ministers throughout the diocese that have become my friends, I know that through their assistance, I can do any ministry in the Church. And when I arrived in New Orleans, perhaps the lone Catholic outpost in the Deep South, I was reminded I got there too, by the grace of God.