Josh Kenny, a recent graduate of Michigan State University, and a young parishioner of ours, was recently accepted into Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit where he will continue his journey of discernment toward the priesthood. Josh is the son of Dan and Tammy Kenny as well as the brother of Lauren. His family and our parish are very excited for his entrance into Sacred Heart where he will begin his studies next month. God-willing, one day, he will be ordained a priest of Jesus Christ to serve here in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Below is a testimony written by our new seminarian, Josh, about a pilgrimage he traveled to in France recently with other young men discerning the priesthood. God bless you Josh, and from all of us here at Holy Trinity Parish, know of our continued prayers. Congratulations!
– Fr. Jeff
Pilgrimage to France
Earlier this summer, I was fortunate enough to go on pilgrimage to France with the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Office of Priestly Vocations to continue my discernment. It was a truly blessed experience. Our group of 22 pilgrims, led by Fr. Tim Birney, traveled to Paris, Lisieux, the home of St. Therese of the “Little Flower;” Rouen, the city of St. Joan of Arc’s martyrdom; Chartres (pronounced “shart”), where the world’s best preserved medieval cathedral is located; Lourdes, where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette; and Ars (pronounced “are”), the city where St. Jean Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests, spent most of his ministry. The theme of our pilgrimage was “Walking in the Footsteps of the Saints.” We were encouraged to reflect on how the example of some of the Church’s greatest saints can inform our lives, and how their example can teach us to be more faithful servants of God.
Last summer I went on pilgrimage to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago (“The Way of St. James,” the apostle). While I was in France I reflected on the differences between the two pilgrimages. In Spain, we spent most of our time surrounded by the beauty of the Spanish countryside and were largely able to distance ourselves from the noise of the modern world. In France it was a much different story. We spent much of our time in Paris, one of the world’s most famous cities and most popular tourist destinations. Even when we were in beautiful churches like Notre Dame or Sacre Coeur (French for “Sacred Heart”), we were never far away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. While this changed when we arrived in Lourdes and Ars, for much of the pilgrimage, we had to learn how to become pilgrims in the midst of the world. Here, the example of the saints shone forth. Many of the saints we encountered lived in the world, but did not belong to it. They gave their lives totally to Christ and their earthly ministries emanated from that relationship. The thing that stood out to me the most was their total fidelity to God, and the tremendous trust and hope that they placed in him amidst unimaginable trials. Their examples of love and charity inspired in me a desire to give my life totally to God and the service of others.
While on pilgrimage our group met every night to pray together, and we shared our thoughts from the day. I loved these conversations. It was so exciting to see other young men who loved God and were open to do his will. I was often challenged and inspired by the examples of the other members of the group as well as by the lives of the saints we encountered. The 12 days that we were there confirmed my desire to enter the seminary in hope of one day becoming a priest. I was able to reflect on the example of the priests who accompanied and led our group as well as on the example and priestly life of St. Jean Vianney. I feel a tremendous desire to serve God’s people and am thankful that God has given me the opportunity to discern a vocation to the priesthood.
In light of this, I am happy to announce that I have been accepted as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Detroit! I will begin studying at Sacred Heart Major Seminary this August and am excited about the opportunity to continue my discernment there. I would like to thank the members of this parish for their prayers and support during my discernment so far, and ask that you please continue to keep me in your prayers as I begin this new phase of my life. I cannot wait to begin my studies this fall, and am eager to see what God has in store for me. I grew up in this parish and owe you a debt of gratitude for all you have done to encourage my vocation and spiritual life. Thank you for letting me share my journey so far with you, and know that I look forward to continuing to do so!
– Josh Kenny