During the Jubilee year of 2000, Rory Traynor’s parents returned to the Church. Then on Easter of 2001, Traynor, along with eight of his brothers and sisters, was baptized and officially received into the Church. At that point, Traynor was only 7 years old, but he already knew he wanted to become a priest. Now, thanks to support from Knights of Columbus Bishop Matthew Brady Council 5093, Traynor’s well on his way to completing seminary and serving in the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire.
Growing up, Traynor says the Catholic homeschool education he received from his parents along with his family’s active involvement in parish life at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish solidified his love of God. In particular, Traynor points to the example of his father and the priest at his home parish as his inspiration for pursuing the priesthood.
“The character required of biological fatherhood is the same we need for spiritual fatherhood,” said Traynor. “In many ways, the example set by my father was like the example set by my pastor. These similarities made it easier for me to understand the life of a priest, which was always in the back of my head growing up,” he added.
By the time he turned 18, Traynor was seriously discerning the priesthood. Soon after, he decided to enter seminary. At that same time Traynor’s local K of C council invited him to become a member. He quickly became a beneficiary of the Knights’ Refund Support Vocations Program (RSVP). This program, run by the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council, incentivizes local councils to “adopt” seminarians, by giving them $100 for every $500 they donate to a seminarian, capped at $400 in refunds per individual.
“Someone once suggested to me that it must be a badge of honor for a local council to have a seminarian. I was sort of taken aback by this — seminarians should be honored to be part of them. This is a group of men taking time out of their busy schedules, working hard all day to feed their families, now taking time to pray and organizing charity,” said Traynor.
“Growing up, I was always knew how much the Knights did for our parish and for the whole Church. My appreciation for them continues growing, especially for the prayers and financial support they’ve given me. It allows for simple things that foster community in seminary, or more importantly, money I can use to pay insurance, tuition or gas bills to drive back to New Hampshire. This allow us to focus on our studies and all the other things we have to do” he said.
Today, Traynor is going into his seventh year at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana and his fifth year as a Knight. He’s even taken on the role of grand knight of his seminary council. But Traynor says he’s looking forward to graduating and returning to New Hampshire to serve as a priest.
“Parish work is what I’m looking to do — to be the spiritual father of people on a regular basis. I’m open to doing anything that’s needed, but to spread the forgiving and merciful love of God and offer that presence to his people, is simply amazing.”
Share your story of how your council is helping strengthen people’s faith and offering support during this time. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Originally published in a special bi-weekly edition of Knightline, a resource for K of C leaders and members. To access Knightline’s monthly archives, click here.
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