Students learn to discern their state in life

By Grace Ostuni
Staff Writer

Franciscan University hosted a talk about discerning their state in life and listening to the Lord’s call in a talk from several speakers to promote vocations during the month of personal vocations on Feb. 8 at 9 p.m. 

The panel included Brian and Courtney Kissinger, Sr. Elizabeth Beussink, TOR, Rev. Rufino Corona, TOR, and Rev. Matthew Gossett.  

Courtney Kissinger began the talk by speaking on her experience discerning a call to marriage.  

Through a series of encounters after law school, Kissinger said she realized she shouldn’t continue pursuing the relationship she was in.  

“It was very scary, but I had this piece from God that that was what I was supposed to do,” said Kissinger. 

Kissinger soon met Brian and they began dating. They have been married 12 years and have five children. 

Kissinger said, “There’s this time where you might not feel like you know what to do, but God is with you.” 

Brian Kissinger spoke on the importance of the present moment, the necessity of having a community and gave a reminder of the reality of marriage.  

“The complementary of men and women is not just the ways that we mesh it’s also the ways we clash,” said Kissinger.  

Kissinger added, “Marriage is intended to be a path to heaven, not heaven.” 

Corona spoke next, on discerning religious life.  

“I remember going to Tuesday night praise and prayed a very dangerous prayer: ‘Lord whatever it is you want me to do, I’ll do,” said Corona. 

Corona said he felt the Lord saying he should be a priest. 

“My automatic answer was absolutely not,” said Corona.  

His advisor, Brett Young, told him he should take a step towards seminary in order to discern further. He visited the TORs and entered the order that fall.  

“Having a good spiritual director when it comes to discernment can be really helpful because they can root you when you want to run away,” said Corona.  

The fourth speaker, Beussink, told her story of becoming a TOR sister.  

When Beussink was thirteen, her mother, her sister and she went on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Sitting on the plane, she felt the call a third time.  

In high school, she began to date a boy who had all the qualities she was looking for in a boyfriend.  

“The longer that we dated, the more I began to feel less satisfied. There was something deeper inside of me that was aching for something more,” said Beussink.  

Beussink added, “My piece of advice to you is to develop a prayer life. That’s what kept me grounded and rooted in the roller coaster of my emotions.”  

The last speaker was Gossett, who gave his experience discerning the diocesan priesthood.  

Gossett said his relationship with Jesus began when he read C.S. Lewis.  

“It set my mind on fire with the reality that God is reasonable and relationship we have with him is knowable,” stated Gossett.  

Gossett visited his brother in seminary and ended up applying as well. He has been a priest for seven years and a pastor for one.  

“If you are afraid right now, I would recommend continually bringing that to Jesus,” said Gossett.  

The panel was a part of 20 events Franciscan University is hosting in February for Personal Vocation Month.