Walking With The Father: Father Tavis Goski's vocation story

October 17, 2016

Father Tavis Goski's vocation story

I was raised in a Catholic family. We went to Mass every week and my parents always encouraged me to be involved in the parish. I helped with the collection and sang in the choir. When I was older, I joined the Knights of Columbus and continued to be involved in the life of the parish. Although these were good and enjoyable experiences, in hindsight, my understanding of the Catholic faith was mainly theoretical. I knew what the faith taught and believed it to be true, but it failed to have an impact on my life outside the times where I was volunteering or going to Mass. I realize now that a significant reason why I attended Mass was because it was expected of me.

This indifference towards the faith changed when I went to university and became involved with a group called Catholic Christian Outreach. With this group I took faith studies and met many young Catholics who were excited about their faith. Their joy and enthusiasm were quite appealing. I later started to lead many of the faith studies that I had taken. It was through my experience with this group that I discovered the great beauty and truth of the Catholic faith. What changed was that I discovered that I could have a relationship with God that was deeply personal. Before, God seemed distant, now he was so close. I started to find Jesus in prayer, in the real presence of the Eucharist and in the confessional, which I had avoided for many years. This was an exciting time for me because the faith was coming alive.

During one night at Eucharistic Adoration, Father Tim, the Vocation Director for the Archdiocese gave a talk encouraging those present to consider a vocation to the Priesthood. I paid little attention to his talk because at the time I was dating a girl and felt certain that I was on the path towards marriage. However, afterwards there was a reception where I saw Father Tim, who incidentally was formerly an Associate Pastor at my home parish. To be polite I talked to him and he asked me if I had ever considered a vocation to the Priesthood. Before he could finish the question I cut him off and said “no!” I think my tone caught him by surprise so he asked me again. This time, I listened to the question and alarm bells went off. I realized that I had never considered this question. I grew up as a Catholic all my life and never once gave any consideration to a vocation to the Priesthood. After that evening this question arose again and again in any moment of prayer or stillness. No matter how hard I tried I could not ignore it. The more I resisted it, the worse I felt because I knew that this is where I was being called to serve the Lord, His Church and His people, but I was simply too scared to follow.

I eventually stopped being so stubborn and talked to the Archdiocese and have continued the discernment process in the seminary. Once I had stopped resisting and learned to trust the Lord I rediscovered peace and joy. Even though at times, life in the seminary can be challenging, I have not lost that peace and am more excited than ever to follow the Lord and see where He will take me.

*Father Tavis Goski was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on June 3rd 2016 at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Ottawa, and is the Associate Pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Ottawa. Above is a photo from his 1st Mass celebrated at his home parish of Holy Cross. www.holycrossparish.com