Students explore religious life at vocations fair

Photo by Elizabeth Alva

Genevieve Stefanick
Staff Writer

Religious communities from all over the country were represented at the religious vocations awareness day fair held in Finnegan Fieldhouse Friday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Members from over 45 different religious orders and communities had stands set up throughout the gym, where they shared with students about their community and their individual journeys towards Christ.

Booths included the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, the Franciscans of the Renewal, the Sisters of Our Lady of the Trinity, the vocations director of the Franciscan Friars, TOR, and representatives from several dioceses and the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh.

Seminarian Daniel Andrades from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, while describing his conversion story, said, “When the spark of God is in a man’s soul, you cannot help but surrender everything to God.”

It is almost like a “divine madness,” he said.

Bishop Jeffrey Monforton of Steubenville celebrated the 12:05 Mass, with 21 priests concelebrating.

After the lull for Mass and lunch from noon to 1 p.m., the fieldhouse filled up again with students and religious.

Sister Catherine Holum, CFR, said that it was so busy in the morning that it was difficult to hear other people talk.

“I thought I would have to go outside to have a conversation!” said Holum.

Many of the religious orders represented at the fair are hundreds of years old, and many of the religious, priests and seminarians were Franciscan alumni.

Freshman Anthony Quintero said, “It was a great experience. I was able to talk to a lot of different people living different lives, but all for the same reason. It provided an opportunity for me to see how God is calling everyone to live for him in unique ways and that we just (have to) listen to him.”

The event was sponsored by the Franciscan University Priestly Discernment Program.