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Archives Goal of Fishers Club is to help men discern vocations

May 16, 2018

By Father Howard Venette
Contributing writer

Plattsburgh - “No man who feels that all important and mysterious call should pass up the chance to discern with those who know its true value.”

That’s the thought of Matthew Tetreault, a young man from Champlain, currently discerning a call to the priesthood. 

His fellow discerner, Tom Middleton, writes “I find the long journey of discernment so much richer in the fellowship of others.”

The richness of such fellowship is at the heart of the Fishers Club, the diocesan priesthood discernment initiative. 

These men, as well as several others, regularly gathered in two regional groups for prayer, discussion and camaraderie, beginning early this year. 

The Midlanders met at St. Mary’s, Canton, while the Lakesiders convened at St. Peter’s in Plattsburgh.
Father Howard Venette conducted the Plattsburgh area group. Fathers Douglas Lucia, director of vocations, and

Father Bryan Stitt, pastor of St. Mary’s, Canton, gathered with men in the Canton area. 
How is success measured for the group?

Tom’s experience provides the answer: “I am especially grateful to those fellow travelers who open their hearts in prayerful consideration of God's call.” 

The simple goal of the Fishers Club is to bring together men to consider the one thing they have in common: the awareness of a call to the Priesthood.  Hearts do open as experiences are shared within the context of a group discussion.  At each meeting, prayer in common and a relaxing meal further the fraternal atmosphere.
When asked about his time spent with the group, Aaron Akey, said, “All in all the Fishers club provides a man with the outlet to begin to exercise his desire to please God, and to steal a line from Father Merton’s famous prayer: I believe the desire to please God does in fact please him.” 

Each discernment meeting begins with the words of Thomas Merton’s prayer: “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.”

Hopefully, time spent with the Fishers Club will continue to provide men with a sense of direction as they respond to the Lord’s ministerial call.

Interested men of high school junior age and above will have the opportunity to gather for discernment when the Fishers Club resumes next fall.

Fishers Club

Father Howard Venette, pastor in Old Forge and moderator of the Lakesiders’ Fishers Club in Plattsburgh, center, is shown with two members of the club,  Thomas Middleton and Aaron Akey after a recent meeting at St. Peter’s Church in Plattsburgh . The Fishers Club is a diocesan initiative for men discerning a vocation to the priesthood. A second group - the Midlanders - meets in Canton with Father Douglas Lucia, diocesan vocation director; and Father Bryan Stitt, pastor in Canton.

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