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Do I have to give up my interests?

The title for this post reflects questions and comments that vocation directors often get, especially from younger men who are discerning a call to the priesthood.  Some of their habits or interests may, on the surface, seem incompatible with priestly life.  And while it is true that there are certain aspects of hobbies that may interfer, the opposite can also be very accurate: if God has given you a talent or ability and you offer your life back to God in thanks for those gifts, He will often use those gifts for the sake of Kingdom.

This morning, my brother emailed me the story of Les Costello [1].  A Canadian, he won the Stanley Cup with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1948, and calls have gone out for his enshrinement in the Hockey Hall of Fame.  Must have had an illustriave carreer, eh?  Does 15 regular season, 5 post season games count?

His fame comes from the fact that he took off the sweater and put on the cloth: leaving the fame of hockey in Canada for the obscure life of a Catholic Priest.

But he didn’t leave his love for hockey behind: he founded the ‘Flying Fathers,’ a charity hockey team made up of Catholic Priests, who would play club and amateur teams for charity.  Amassing a 900, 6 losses and 1 tie; they have donated over $4 million to charity.  (The team continues in Canada.)

Fr. Costello died in 2002 after complications from a strike to the head by a puck.

If God gives the talent, and we offer it to Him, He will do marvelous things. [2]

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