(0:03) Fr. Craig Giera introduces Fr. Drew Mabee, his new co-host and they welcome this episode’s guest, Mgsr. Charles Kozanke. The hosts and guest recap various blessings that the summer has held. Msgr. Kozanke’s recent experiences included the Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit’s multicultural celebration of its titular feast day, as well as a trip to Poland. Fr. Drew describes the grace of serving at St. Damien of Molokai in Pontiac, a predominantly Hispanic parish. Fr. Craig shares about his recent opportunity to offer Mass for young people at Camp Sancta Maria.
(18:00) Vocation story: Msgr. Kozanke grew up in an active Catholic family and started thinking about the priesthood in seventh grade, largely due to the “foundational” experience of training fellow boys as altar servers. Over time, he discerned that he should enter seminary. Halfway through his Theology studies, Msgr. Kozanke experienced doubts, feeling “50/50” about his vocation. Fr. Craig affirms that men do not need to be completely sure about the priesthood before entering seminary.
(30:18) They discuss how God used the invitation to train altar servers to draw Msgr. Kozanke to the priesthood. Msgr. Kozanke is asked about his experience with discernment weekends and explains that they gave him “comfortability” with the idea of seminary. He then shares how God has used his business skills throughout his 37 years as a priest. He affirms, “At the end of the day,…your effectiveness…is really going to be based on what God does through you.”
(39:10) The power of reliance on the Lord: Msgr. Kozanke describes how he went to Rome as a young priest to study for his doctorate, but greatly struggled to come up with a topic. Eventually, he surrendered the situation to the Lord: “For a full week…I did nothing from Monday through Friday but pray before the Blessed Sacrament.” At the end of the week, inspiration suddenly struck and he soon made rapid progress on his thesis. Msgr. Kozanke gives a second example of how God provided for him following a week of prayer. He emphasizes that whatever your abilities, “God sometimes may remind you that you’re also limited.” Fr. Craig and Fr. Drew point out how God works with what little we have and already has a plan for us.
(51:04) Msgr. Kozanke discusses his experience with various ministries, including Marriage Encounter, American Friends of the Vatican Library, and Young Catholic Professionals. He describes accepting the offer to shepherd Ste. Anne’s, as well as his experience of being Episcopal Vicar of the Central Region of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
(59:08) Discernment advice: Fr. Craig emphasizes the need to be open to God’s plan for one’s life and priesthood. He suggests, “take a step back and sit in a chapel for five days. And ask the Lord…‘what is it that You want?’” Msgr. Kozanke encourages men who are discerning to take the “first step” of praying a weekly holy hour in Adoration. He also suggests attending discernment weekends or visiting religious orders whose charism resonates with you.
(1:05:50) Fr. Craig thanks Msgr. Kozanke and Fr. Drew for joining him on the podcast. Msgr. Kozanke closes the episode in prayer.