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SEEK Conference: Join the adventure, find out what moves you Print
Guest column
Thursday, Feb. 02, 2017 -- 12:00 AM
Fr.Gregory Ihm

Recently in the Gospels, we heard Jesus calling the first Apostles: Peter, Andrew, James, and John, saying "Come and follow me."

Can you imagine the adventure that Jesus led them on for the next three years?

Not only did He lead them to a deeper knowledge of who they were, but even more profoundly, who He was.

Discovering Jesus

They went from the simple life of fishing to the daily adventure of discovering who Jesus truly was as manifested through His miracles and teachings.

In the midst of discovering who they were, they were also discovering the mission that God had set out for them to undertake.

SEEKing the Lord

Recently I had the opportunity to see a very similar scenario play itself out in San Antonio, Texas, as 13,000 college students left behind their daily life for a five-day Catholic Conference.

In their journey of traveling, the Lord took many on an adventure into their own lives and hearts to show them who they are in Him and the great mission to which He is calling them.

They came SEEKing the Lord and in return He sought them through the talks they heard from people like Fr. Mike Schmitz, Dr. Scott Hahn, Sr. Bethany Madonna, Curtis Martin, etc.

Many students heard the Lord call out to them anew, "Come follow Me; Do not be afraid," and they were challenged to SEEK the great adventure of sanctity, living life not like everyone else, but as a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ, willing to leave all behind to follow Him more sincerely.

Work of conversion

The pinnacle of the conference was the night of Adoration and Confession. During it, there were nearly 4,000 Confessions heard and 13,000 in Adoration for several hours. It was a visual expression of the work of conversion the Lord was doing in the hearts of those participating in the conference.

As a priest, I had the privilege of watching the Lord reveal himself to the participants as He did to His early disciples and in return see them eager to pursue this ongoing adventure.

Hearing the Lord's call

The Lord comes in search of those willing to set out on an adventure with Him of bringing salvation to those that are suffering from isolation, moral relativism, various addictions or habits that hold them captive and fearful of being who God created them to be.

He desires to break into people's lives that are experiencing lack of purpose or meaning and reveal to them their own identity in Him and the great purpose of their lives.

He doesn't reveal it all at once, otherwise we would be overwhelmed, but slowly. Like the disciples, each day Jesus was teaching them something new.

Hear the Lord's call to you, "Come and follow me." Are you willing to immediately leave everything and follow Jesus?

For more information

Call or email the Diocese of Madison Vocations Office (608-821-3088 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in joining the adventure or check us out on our website ( or Facebook or download our app.

Fr. Gregory Ihm is the director of vocations for the Diocese of Madison.