A group of seminarians watched the final installment of “God or the Girl” last night. I will not give the final decisions of the men so that you can watch for yourselves.
One of the things I learned as I did some research is that the producers of the show were Jewish, so going into this project they had no real concept of what the inner workings of the Catholic Church were, or of what the discernment process was – at least from an insiders perspective. I have to give them credit as I think they put together a somewhat balanced presentation on what these men were going through.
Another thing that surfaced was they (the producers) understood that discernment is a very internal and personal process, so they had to do something to make it external and film worthy. What they decided to do was to have the men, through the assistance of their pastors, friends, spiritual directors, and family look to externalize their decision making process in some way. Thus the suggestions for the pilgrimage, the mission trip, and carrying the cross. Since the input for this external representation came from Catholics and people who were close to the men, I suspect that the intent and motivation behind the choices were appropriate for the men involved. It did bring each to a heightened awareness of their faith walk and helped them to make a decision as to the advancement to Seminary or not.
I think on an overall basis this was good press for the Church and for vocations. These men were able to verbalize some of their personal struggles, externalize some of the decision making process, and made themselves visible to many Catholics and non-Catholics who were and will watch the show. I pray that each of these men are blessed in their continuing journey of walking in God’s will for their lives.