Fr. Charlie Fox joins Men of the Hearts to talk about his own vocation story, as well as formation, what it really is, and why it’s so important.
(0:42) Fr. Craig introduces this month’s guest, Fr. Charlie Fox, who’s about to move into a new position at Sacred Heart as the Vice Rector.
(3:39) Fr. Fox shares some of the blessings he’s experienced over the past month, including his preaching bootcamp, which helps seminarians become more skilled and comfortable with public speaking. Fr. David updates from his last month as well; his parish has just celebrated their Confirmations and First Communions.
(8:38) Fr. Craig asks Fr. Fox about any special gifts or talents he has, and Fr. Fox shares about his love of writing and his experiences writing for the greater Catholic community, as well as some of his exploits in writing as a seminarian at Sacred Heart.
(14:40) Fr. Fox shares his vocation story. He talks of growing up in an Irish Catholic family in Detroit and Redford and the gentle encouragement he always had from his parents to consider the priesthood. He also stresses the significance the Eucharist and the Mass had in his discernment.
(23:42) Fr. Fox explains what he was thinking, hearing, and feeling when discerning his vocation and when he has very specifically heard the Lord speaking to him and quelling his doubts. Fr. Fox and Fr. Craig reflect on the importance of commitment and closeness with the Lord throughout the discernment process.
(30:51) Fr. Craig asks if Fr. Fox was looking for any signs before he entered the seminary, and Fr. Fox says no, but that he was looking for inner clarity and certainty and he discusses the moral certitude often discussed when talking about vocations.
(35:26) Fr. Fox talks about his life at the seminary, the fraternity and education at Sacred Heart, and the formation experiences he had during that time. Fr. Craig shares memories of sitting in the refectory with older seminarians and getting to know them as role models. Fr. Fox adds that the like-minded community found in the seminary is a great reinforcement to one’s vocation.
(41:59) Fr. Fox defines formation as development as a man of God first and a priest according to the priesthood of Jesus second. He mentions the role of formation in developing habits in prayer and smoothing out our rough edges. He also discusses the four pillars of formation: spiritual, intellectual, apostolic, and human.
(48:36) Fr. Craig asks what formators and admissions boards are looking for in a seminarian, and Fr. Fox responds that men should be able to live in the program with peace and joy and can engage in the communal and academic life of the seminary. He remarks that the most important thing is that a man has confidence that God is calling him to the priesthood.
(51:33) Fr. David talks about Formation Saturday, a program Fr. Fox put on that featured talks on a pillar of formation from a different priest each week.
(56:52) Fr. Fox offers advice to men who are discerning the priesthood: don’t be afraid to take the next step. He encourages men to think not in terms of choosing between A and B, but of what the deeper choice of Jesus is in one’s life. He then closes in prayer.