For young men at Notre Dame considering a religious vocation, the doors at Corby Hall are always open.
On Wednesday night at 8 p.m., Corby Night, hosted by Holy Cross priests, brothers and seminarians, took place at Corby Hall for those young men discerning the priesthood. It began with a candlelight service in the chapel of the hall and was followed by a social hour, in which the undergraduates could get to know one another and speak with the religious leaders.
Fr. Jim Gallagher, director of the Office of Vocations, said he could relate to young men deciding whether or not a life in the priesthood was right for them.
"For the longest time it was on my mind but I never talked to anybody about it," Gallagher said. "The most important thing is to talk to somebody."
Students at the event ranged from Notre Dame undergraduates and those living at Old College, the University's undergraduate seminary for the Congregation of the Holy Cross, to seminarians who had already completed their undergraduate degree.
Vincent Nguyen, a Notre Dame senior who currently lives in Moreau Seminary, said he recognized his vocation as early as freshman year.
"It was the community life and prayer life that brought it all together," Nguyen said.
As a seminarian, Nguyen said he is still an active member of the Notre Dame community and is able to balance the religious aspects of his life with academics and social activities.
"I've had practice with the balancing since I lived in Old College for the first three years," Nguyen said. "I'm still involved on campus."
In the past 10 to 15 years, vocations to the priesthood in America have increased, Gallgher said. At a Catholic university such as Notre Dame, those thinking about committing to life as a priest have many resources to help them in their discernment, he said.
"The sort of guys who might be thinking about a vocation will go to Notre Dame," he said. "At Notre Dame there are a lot of opportunities to deepen one's faith life."
However, a calling to the priesthood is not met without certain difficulties, he said.
"One of the biggest challenges is commitment," Gallagher said. "For young people today it's hard because there are so many things for them to commit to."
Gallagher said talking to one of the many priests and brothers on campus is a good way for young men to introduce themselves and discuss their vocation.
"My job is not to convince them to join the seminary," Gallagher said. "My job is to help them decide whether or not the seminary is right for them."