Questioning God’s call is natural: Bishop McGrattan

It’s OK to have a crisis of faith when you’re considering the priesthood, Calgary Bishop William McGrattan told seminarians from his city.

Mark DrapalLincoln Ho, Grandin Media

“They’ve been very open to say they did feel they were called but were almost resistant, like Jonah,” McGrattan, who was installed as bishop six weeks ago, said Friday on his first visit to St. Joseph Seminary.

McGrattan said the seminary is where students can determine if they are being called by God.

“The Lord needs to test us. He needs to make sure that our calling of Him is authentic.”

Calgary seminarian Mark Drapa said he found his bishop’s comments insightful and encouraging.

Troy NguyenLincoln Ho, Grandin Media

“To realize that that’s the nature of discernment, and if we don’t encounter turmoil or tension that could be an indication that something is wrong.”

Troy Nguyen, another Calgary seminarian, also studied at St. Peter’s Seminary in Ontario under McGrattan.

“I went to the chapel and I would see him there every day, early in the morning, so he was always a man who was very faithful to prayer,” he said.

At the time of his appointment by Pope Francis on Jan. 4, Bishop McGrattan led the Diocese of Peterborough, Ont. The new Calgary bishop is also a big hockey fan.

When asked to choose between the Leafs, Oilers or Flames, McGrattan chose none.

“The Boston Bruins used to come to my hometown of London Ontario for their training camp so I watched Bobby Orr break into the NHL as a 17-year-old,” he said.

“But if Boston is not in the playoffs, then I better root for the (Calgary) Flames.”

Bishop McGrattan celebrates Mass at St. Joseph Seminary.Lincoln Ho, Grandin Media

Bishop McGrattan replaced Bishop Fred Henry, who served the Calgary diocese for 19 years.

Bishop Henry announced in January that he had received papal permission to retire at age 73 for health reasons.

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