Fr. Bryan Kassa, Director of Vocations for the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, joins Fr. Craig and Fr. David to discuss his vocation story and the importance of fully surrendering to the will of God.
(0:59) Fr. Craig introduces this episode’s guest, Fr. Bryan Kassa, Director of Vocations for the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle. Fr. Bryan shares some highlights from his past few months, including receiving seminary applications, a new pastor arriving at his parish, and the Eparchy holding its first discernment weekend.
(5:35) Fr. David and Fr. Craig share highlights of the month as well, and Fr. David gives the monthly Costco update! Fr. David also shares an update on the young adult carpentry night his parish hosted last week, and Fr. Craig mentions that his summer has been full of Thanksgiving Masses for the recently ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Detroit.
(13:23) Fr. Bryan shares his vocation story, mentioning a girlfriend he had who’d challenged him to really take his faith more seriously. He talks, too, about running into an old friend who’d recently joined the seminary and the seed that encounter planted in his mind, and the silence he experienced that helped his thoughts of the priesthood come into focus.
(23:01) Fr. Bryan discusses some of the fears the Chaldean community associates with a priestly vocation as a result of the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. He talks about how he explained his decision to become a priest to his parents and the importance of fully surrendering to the will of God.
(30:08) Fr. Bryan talks about cultivating a relationship with the Blessed Mother and encourages everyone to have a devotion to her. Fr. David emphasizes this as well, mentioning the impact she can have specifically on men discerning the priesthood.
(33:40) Fr. Bryan revisits what his life was like before entering the seminary and the ways he learned to hear the voice of God through the scriptures and Catholic authors. He talks about the hunger he had for Jesus, and the way a secondary vocation will develop when you really solidify your primary one. He also shares some of the resources that helped him discern his vocation (linked below).
(43:14) Reflecting on his first few years in seminary, Fr. Bryan discusses some of the classes he took, the need to humble himself and ask for help when needed, and, especially, the fraternity that develops among colleagues.
(47:47) Fr. Bryan talks about the Chaldean rite, what an “eparchy” is, and how the different rites of Catholicism relate to one another. He mentions some of the differences of the Chaldean Mass and how the Chaldean bishop, Bishop Francis, and Archbishop Vigneron relate to one another.
(56:33) Fr. Bryan shares about where the Chaldean Chancery is located, how men who are interested in discerning can contact the Vocations Director, and how the eparchy is structured in Michigan and beyond.
(1:00:33) Fr. Bryan offers parting advice to men who are discerning, encouraging them toward fortitude and spiritual courage. He then closes in prayer.
Links from this episode:
[Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle Vocations]([email protected])