‘Upper Room’ Evening Held Before Triduum
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 19, 2018
ROCKFORD—A “Dinner in the Upper Room” event was held the evening before Holy Thursday at the Cathedral of St. Peter.
Sponsored by the diocesan Office of Vocations, the gathering provided an opportunity for men who are pondering the possible vocation of priesthood to hear from both Bishop David Malloy and Father Keith Romke, director of vocations, and to visit with seminarians of the diocese.
Bishop Malloy celebrated Mass at the start of the evening, which also included a pizza dinner, a talk by Father Romke and a Holy Hour in the cathedral sanctuary.
In his homily, the bishop encouraged everyone to ask himself, “Where does God want me?”
“We need to think, talk and listen about that,” he said. “The important thing is that He’s calling each of you to something. We want to help you find that ‘yes’ (from God). It may take time, prayer and a lot of conversation, but God will say ‘yes’ ” for His plan for you.
He shared also some thoughts about the “gift of celibacy” and the promise of obedience, which “means you give away your will ... if the Church asks (something of us), we do everything we can to do it.”
Add the promise of prayer, and all of those promises made by those who are ordained to the priesthood, Bishop Malloy said, “keep us close to Christ, and Him close to us.”
After dinner, Father Romke reflected on what motivates people, identifying them as things we want to do, things others want us to do, and things we sense God wants us to do.
Children generally find motivation in what they want to do, he said. Teens and young adults are influenced by how they are perceived by other people. 
The world, he said, tends to value people by what they do, promoting a three-fold quest that starts with success in a mission, continues with seeking a positive identity and finally, creating solid relationships.
The priest said God flips that trio back to front, explaining that God wants us to begin with our relationship with Him, and then have that relationship bestow our identity as His sons, and daughters.
“As His sons,” Father Romke said, “we are given our mission, our vocation.”
He told them not to feel pressured to earn God’s acceptance, but to begin with that assured acceptance as they seek answers to the question Bishop Malloy earlier asked, “Where does God want me?”
Following his talk, a Holy Hour provided an opportunity for the men gathered for the evening to begin to listen for God’s answers to that important-for-everyone question.