Bishop Tylka fields a wide range of questions from Emmaus Days participants

Coadjutor Bishop Louis Tylka fields questions from Emmaus Days Session IV participants at Peoria Notre Dame High School. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

God-willing, there were future priests in Sessions III and IV of Emmaus Days in July. But during their respective question-and-answer sessions with Coadjutor Bishop Louis Tylka in Peoria Notre Dame’s Livingston Auditorium, they sure sounded like future journalists.

Participants peppered Bishop Tylka with about 25 questions in each 40-minute session. They ranged from the basic “What does a bishop do?” (Abbreviated answer: “A lot.”) to his “favorites” — sports team (hockey’s Blackhawks), books of the Bible (Luke’s Gospel, Letters of St. Paul), saints (St. Joseph and St. John the Baptist) — to his own vocation story and how he became a bishop.

Some questioners dove well below the surface.

“How do you see youth ministry in a few years?” asked a Session III participant.

“What worked when I was a kid may not work today,” answered Bishop Tylka. “We have to keep looking for ways to engage and encounter young people with our faith,” including opportunities for service and large-scale events such as the National Catholic Youth Conference.

“How early can you start pursuing the priesthood?” asked a Session IV participant the following day.

Bishop Tylka said it can begin long before seminary. “We can start by being a person of prayer, by trying to live out our faith,” he said. “Our whole life should be responding to the question ‘What does God want me to do?’ We often ask the question ‘What do I want to do?’ But ultimately the question should be what does God want me to do with my life and how can I live my life to achieve that.”

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