A Back to School Message from Fr. Paul Noble

With the hustle and bustle of the back-to-school frenzy, it is easy to forget to stop and “pause”. Reflective pausing, and taking a little time for prayer each day might just make this time of year less frenetic, and more enjoyable. Now I know I have spoken to many of you over the past several weeks, and when it is “time” to return to the hallways of education, it feels like a really short summer has flown by, and a long year lies ahead. Carpooling, sports, homework, jobs can really be overwhelming for you and your family. Many of our seminarians actually feel the same way! They are excited to return or start their new year, but for many of them, the summer was a relaxing and spiritual cleansing period as they have rested, and assisted many of our parishes with various activities.

“Pausing” can in fact, allow you time to return some balance during this time of year. If you’re not praying, your new heart is dying—it is being filled and formed by something else other than the Spirit of God. Try to initiate a daily prayer and establish a personal relationship with Jesus. Think of it as a prayer from the heart, where we speak to God as one friend to another. Just as you would at your locker, in the lunchroom, or on the practice field. Many of us just are not comfortable with daily pauses and prayer, but we have to overcome these reservations and do what Jesus commanded us to: “pray always.”

We have posted some simple prayers for you to consider out on theFace Forward Website as you are going about your daily “pause”. I know it will assist many of you to re-focus, and embrace the things that are really important during the onset of a busy school year.
I wish you the best of luck in the upcoming academic year!

Finally, I would like to extend a personal Thank You to Jeremiah Guappone for assisting the Vocations Office this year on the Face Forward project. I would also like to welcome 11 new local men to our college and seminary this year! Stay tuned for more information on this wonderful group here. It is exciting to be a part of this vibrant online community.

Father Paul Noble
Vocations Director
Catholic Diocese of Columbus

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