Dunrovin Christian Brothers Retreat Center in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota, recently honored seminarian Deacon Nick Vance and fellow former staff members for their leadership training work with high schoolers.
Ordained a transitional deacon May 13, Vance served as a program counselor at Dunrovin from 2014-17 and in 2019; he’d previously helped lead the Dunrovin Leadership Intensive Training Experience (“DLITE”) from 2011-13. Vance was one of three former staff to accept the center’s annual “Brother I. Damian Award” on behalf of all summer program personnel.
The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis seminarian said the experience working with Twin Cities youth prepared him for priestly discernment at The Saint Paul Seminary.
“My time on DLITE was a deep invitation to growth, not only in the realm of service and leadership, but in real love and relationship with God,” Vance told Dunrovin’s website. “It’s one thing to talk about all these things and study them; it’s another to throw someone into it themselves, coach and guide them along the way, and then invite them to reflect.
“The diaconate is primarily a ministry of service: service to the Word (in proclaiming the Gospel and preaching), service at the altar (in assisting the priest at Mass), and service in the community (in all the charitable works that deacons are particularly called to take). I recognize that as I serve the Lord and His Church in this way, many of the things I first learned on DLITE have come to fruition, especially learning to get outside of yourself and take your humble gifts and place them forward to serve.”