By Joseph Pratt
Fifteen Columbus Diocese seminarians, priests, and deacons rode their bikes, 30 to 50 miles a day, through the Diocese. Their journey began at St. Andrew School in Upper Arlington, Ohio, on May 12 and finished at the Notre Dame Schools on May 16.
Kyle Tennant, a 2007 graduate of Notre Dame High School, was one of the seminarians who participated in the bike tour. Tennant is a seminarian freshman, studying to be a priest at the Pontifical College of Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio.
The cyclists were reaching out to spread the message of living the life you’re called to live. The seminarians enjoy this annual event of fellowship, evangelization, the challenge of cycling and the opportunity to spend time talking about vocations with youth, pastors and parishioners in the diocese.
“This trip started a few years ago when a former seminarian, who is now an ordained priest for the diocese, wanted to burn off some steam after finals and get out of the seminarian mode by getting out and getting some exercise,” Tennant said. “So, he started this bike tour to raise awareness for vocation, which also got other seminarians out and interacting with students.”
Tennant said that the tour is also a good opportunity for the members of the diocese to interact with one another and get to know everyone in a setting outside of school.
The highlight for Tennant was getting to meet the students at different schools and answering questions about his vocation.
“My favorite part of the trip was hearing some of the reactions from the kids,” Tennant said. “Some of our guys know parents or teachers involved with the schools we visited, so we hear back from them after the trip and the kids thought it was interesting to have the chance to meet us seminarians and find out we don’t just pray all the time, but we are real people who enjoy sports, movies and all of those things. What is really great, though, is hearing that some of the kids went home and told parents they wanted to be a priest and that is just the greatest.”
The annual Seekholiness Bike Tour is sponsored by the Diocesan Vocations Office, The Catholic Foundation and Face Forward Connecting Catholic Youth on Facebook.
“God has made everything and loves all of us individually. When he created each of us, he had something in mind for us to do,” Tennant explained. “Whatever that is, it is our job to figure it out and follow that calling. Some people are called to be married, few are called to be consummated single, few are called to religious life and a few are called to be priests. Most people are called to get married and have biological families of their own. I think my calling is to be a priest. Not only do I think that is what God’s will is for me, but I know that it is what really sets me on fire and gets me excited. Deep down, I know this is what I want for myself.”
Tennant said that he will participate in the bike ride in the future as well, but probably won’t be making a trip back to Portsmouth to visit Notre Dame, because the bike trek changes each year, in order to reach as many students as possible.
Joseph Pratt can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287.