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People Might be Surprised to Know

 
Scott VanDerveer
Albany
I spent almost 20 trying not to be a priest. I felt the call in high school, but felt uncertain if God was calling me specifically to priesthood or perhaps to some other kind of ministry. I was in the Up with People program, worked at a Catholic hospice, supervised foreign exchange students and taught religion in Catholic schools for years before finally yielding to the stirrings God had placed in me.

Joseph Ganser
Allentown

I was investigating and applying to medical schools at the same time I was discerning my call to the seminary.

Scott Schwind
Amarillo

As successful as I was in my career as a nuclear inspector, I always felt like something was missing and that there was more to life than what I was doing in the secular world.  Recognizing my true vocation and answering yes to that call has filled that void and brought me more joy than I ever expected.

Michael Isenberg
Arlington

I will always be an engineer at heart.  I love to solve problems, fix cars, or fix just about any mechanical thing that is broken.

Chris Hayes
Arlington

I like to study history yet I have never visited the historical sites near my diocese - but I plan to do so once I am finished with my seminary formation.

Eric Shafer
Arlington

I love to play hockey and keep bees.

Jason Burchell
Arlington

I was working toward a career in Professional or College Sports while in College and Graduate School. I worked on a cruise ship in Europe and the Caribbean as an Aquatic Director for the YMCA and hiked the entire Camino de Santiago in Spain before realizing that I have to stop running away from our Lord's graceful yet consistent call. I realized that Augustine was right about the whole "restless" thing. Ad Gloriam Dei.

Thomas Shuler
Atlanta

I am 68 years of age.  I was married 35 years before my wife died of breast cancer in 2007.  I served in a large parish as a permanent deacon for 17 years before entering seminary.

Feiser Munoz
Atlanta

I wanted to be a military officer in my country Colombia; however, after prayer I felt the call to the priesthood for the military diocese in Colombia. I spent four and a half years there and I decided to apply for the Archdiocese of Atlanta GA. I am happy because I can serve people here in U.S and in my own diocese.

Dennis Dorner
Atlanta

I play guitar, have a great interest in technology, and look at new ways to utilize technology to evangelize. My father is a permanent deacon and the permanent diaconate community has been most supportive of me  during my priestly formation.

Barry Cuba
Austin

I speak conversational Korean, am passionate about philosophy, and enjoy running, getting to know people, and the process of learning.

Ventura Alejandro Caudillo
Austin

I never consider the priesthood until I was 23 years old. I taught myself to play the guitar. I enjoy a good book and a cup of coffee.

Joseph Evinger
Bismarck

I come from a farm that raised buffalo, enjoy hanging out with all of my siblings, and I can't live without Jesus.

Patrick Cunningham
Bismarck

I was a seminarian in high school then left, was married for 42 years, fathered of 8 children, 12 grandchildren, was ordained a deacon and after Judy was born into eternal life in 2008, I entered the seminary in 2009.

Jared Johnson
Bismarck

I enjoy ice fishing, hunting, running, playing cards, and spending time with my family and friends.

Christopher Wallace
Boston

I am an Eagle Scout; I had a major conversion experience praying the rosary at the beginning of my sophomore year of college; I worked at the supermarket deli during college.

Jacques Antoine McGuffie
Boston

I entered the Seminary later in life after a successful career in Business. I was ordained a Permanent Deacon in 2002 and loved my ministry very much. The call to a Priestly vocation came to me after
my wife passed away in 2009. I like to travel, although I don't do much of it for lack of free time; I enjoy listening to classical and soft music.

Thomas Macdonald
Boston

My college years exposed me to the great sadness experienced by many young people living without any reference to Christ. The experience of being immersed in this world of spiritual poverty and having the opportunity to respond to my friends' questions concerning the Faith, I realized the thing I most wanted to do in life was to introduce people to Christ. The mounting intensity of this desire was God's way of drawing me to consider the priesthood.  I'm so grateful that He gave me the grace to say "yes" to His call.

Gerald Souza
Boston

I love to travel.

John Cassani
Boston

I worked for my grandfather for about 15 years at the candlepin bowling alley that he owned.

Krzysztof Kuczynski
Bridgeport

I am a normal guy who did his best in school, got decent grades and loved playing volleyball in High School just before I entered Seminary. The Lord, in his great mercy and love, has blessed me with holy men as my brothers, and the opportunity to grow in charity and holiness following the footsteps of many holy men and women who have walked the streets of Rome.

Raymond Flores
Brooklyn

I jumped out of a plane at two and a half miles up in the air.

Stephen Giulietti
Brooklyn

I have studied at 6 different seminary institutions, including our high-school seminary.

Paul Kim
Brooklyn

I wanted to be a NYC Police officer before the priesthood. God had different plans and wanted me to be a priest while I was in Junior High School.

Juan Manuel Salazar
Brownsville

I served ten years in the US Marines and was a trained Interrogator of Prisoners of War, before responding to Christ's call to Love of God and neighbor.

Arturo Castillo
Brownsville

One day during Holy Mass I dreamed of being a priest. Thank God that dream has come true.

Matthew Bozovsky
Chicago

I was a research scientist before entering the seminary, conducting research in the area of cellular and molecular biology.

Mark Augustine
Chicago

I attended a study-abroad program in Rome after being rejected from an early admittance to law school.  It was while studying in Rome that I began to seriously discern the possibility of the diocesan priesthood (and joined the seminary only 6 months later).

Thomas Byrne
Chicago

I wanted to be a medical doctor before I heard the call to priesthood and one of my hobbies is fly fishing for trout.

Kevin McCray
Chicago

I grew up Methodist, the son of the Church pianist.  I came into the Catholic Church at the age of 42, and entered seminary at the age of 47.  I have a twin brother, Kelly, who is 10 minutes younger than me.

Deacon Jim Romanello
Cincinnati

I love to fish, especially in the Appalachian Mountains. There is something very peaceful about being in the mountains that forces you to slow down and enjoy God's creation.

Jerome Bishop
Cincinnati

I was a police sergeant, a member of the S.W.A.T. team, and I used to fly airplanes.  If I were stranded on a desert island and could only have two pieces of music to listen to, one would be the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #2; the other, Chopin's B flat minor Scherzo.

Louis Thomas
Cleveland

I enjoy archery (but my interest predates Hunger Games and other such pop culture fads).

Terrence Grachanin
Cleveland

I wanted to work as an animator for Disney.

Ryan Cubera
Cleveland

I rather enjoy writing letters, reading novels, the board game Quelf, and the mud pit at Life Teen's camp Covecrest. One of the greatest gifts I have experienced in life has been my family, both those by birth and those by Christ's blood.

Adam Zajac
Cleveland

I taught myself computer programming, build my own computers, and listen to alternative rock and metal.

Jason Keas
Colorado Springs

My dream job was to be an Athletic Trainer in Major League baseball; I was well on my way and was not happy when I got a job in baseball. I was avoiding the call to the priesthood that I received years before.

Michael Norton
Covington

I didn't grow up Catholic, but as I entered the Church I found a longing and calling to become a priest. My interests are varied, though my greatest joy is to serve others in love.

Ryan Stenger
Covington

I graduated high school at 16.

Jacob Straub
Covington

I considered becoming a rocket scientist.  I had always loved space exploration and really wanted to get into astronautical engineering so that I could build rockets and spaceships.  Now my eyes look beyond the stars I stared at so often in the night to the God who illumines the mind more brillantly than any light we see in our whole universe.

Michael Hennigen
Covington

Part of my formation to the priesthood was teaching Lutherans about Catholicism at the Lutheran Church in my hometown.

Adam Hamness
Crookston

I first seriously considered a priestly vocation after an experience I had while job-shadowing a surgeon. After I witnessed a woman give birth to a beautiful baby girl by cesarean section, the doctor performed a tubal ligation, so that the woman could never conceive a child again. I was shocked, and it was then that felt drawn to serve the Lord as a priest.

Jacob Greiner
Davenport

I was a competitive weight lifter when I was in college.

Ronald Cattany
Denver

I consider my years of Seminary Formation as a grace-filled Spiritual Pilgrimage where I have learned about myself, my spirituality, trust in God's plan for my life, abandonment to the will of God, the guiding presence of God throughout my life, and spiritual brotherhood. It has been a time of unsurpassed peace and joy.

Arturo Chagala
Denver

I felt God's call when I listened to the preaching of the kerygma, something that was fantastic for me.

Fabian Moncada
Des Moines

I was born in Bogota, Colombia and raised by my parents:  Fernando, a retired worker, and Maria Francisca, an exemplary housewife.  I have two brothers.  My older brother is Diego Nelson Moncada.  He is married with two beautiful daughters and lives in Queretaro, Mexico.  My youngest brother is Camilo Andres Moncada.  He lives and works in Hartford, CT.

Rev. Mr. Christopher Coffiey
Diocese

I can fix almost anything. I love to work on cars especially. I probably have the largest and most eclectic music selection- anything from polka to techno!

Nicholas Nelson
Duluth

I love hockey, and can't wait to return to Northern Minnesota.

Elias Gieske
Duluth

I never thought of becoming a priest until I was in college, and I was and still am uncomfortable with public speaking.

Michael Garry
Duluth

I enjoy reading, playing the guitar, and alpine skiing.

George Hajj
Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon

I am the eighth person to be ordained in my family, in the course of four generations.

Alexander Abraham Joseph
Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn

I am not worthy of this order. No one is. But someone needs to do it.

Christopher Droste
Evansville

I am happier than I could ever imagine being in life because of my vocation.

Troy Simonsen
Fargo

I was a scientist before going to the seminary.

Sean Mulligan
Fargo

I grew up on a farm and I enjoy snowboarding and fishing. I resisted the call for a couple of years, but then the Lord captivated my heart, and in that relationship with Him, I heard the call to join Him in serving His people.

Christopher Lapp
Fort Wayne-South Bend

I only considered becoming a priest during high school due to the example and teaching of a parish priest, who urged all the men to open our hearts to the possibility of a priestly vocation.

James Wilcox
Fort Worth

God knows the timing of a man to enter the seminary.  I believe it is through Eucharistic Adoration, prayer, and the people in our lives that we are able to best hear the voice of God.

Bert Mello
Fresno

I am absolutely head over heels in love with the Person of Jesus Christ.  Once I intimately experienced Him, I wanted an ever-deepening relationship with each of the Three Divine Persons of the Trinity.

Chester (Chet) Collins
Gaylord

Being a cowboy was another choice, completing saddle making school in Oregon, and working on cattle ranches in Texas and Montana and a dude ranch in Colorado. I am also a professed member of the Order of Franciscan Secular since 2005.

James VanderLaan
Grand Rapids

I find it relaxing to ride my bicycle for long distances.

Scott Nolan
Grand Rapids

I attribute part of my being open to say yes to God's invitation to be a priest to a Protestant minister who had a big impact on me while I was in high school.  I saw in him the greatness and the sacrifice of a life lived for Jesus Christ.

J. Douglas Krings
Great Falls-Billings

I have never considered becoming a priest until after my wife died. Three years after she died, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do with the rest of my life and to my great surprise, He did not hesitate to let me know.

Michael Warden
Green Bay

I never considered the priesthood as an option before I was 22.

Alvan Amadi
Green Bay

I have thought about the priesthood on and off, went through the high school and college seminary. But it became clear to me while I attended the solemn vows of a Dominican religious brother. Interestingly, I felt that the Lord was calling me to the Diocesan priesthood instead.

Matthew Morelli
Greensburg

I first considered a vocation while studying engineering at a small Presbyterian college.  Many of my classmates (Catholics and Protestants alike) witnessed to their close relationship with Christ.  This encouraged me to live my Catholic Faith more fervently and led me to be open to the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood.

Daniel Ulishney
Greensburg

I enjoy playing frisbee, scouting, and traveling. I first thought of a priestly vocation while attending a youth conference in high school.

Stephen Kelley
Harrisburg

I only knew Catholicism to be a weekend thing, primarily for older people. I began working with a Catholic high school group in the evenings, and began to see their vibrant, young, energetic faith, which was integrated into their lives, and it inspired greater joy, faith, and hope than Catholicism as I had known it had shown me. Motivated by their energy, I began to become more active in Catholic activities, devotions, and pursued information about Catholic history and traditions. I began to regularly pray the rosary and attend daily Mass during my lunch break. A call to the vocations office came a few years later.

Piotr Buczek
Hartford

I will like being a parish priest.

Rev. Mr  Carlos A. Piedrahita
Hartford

I served in the Colombian Army for one year and I served as a project evaluator of some international institutions and I was a professor of Finances and Project Management at two universities in Colombia. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, a Master's in Strategic Management of Cost and Finances and Diplomas in Human Resources and International Business. I was involved in Catholic groups since I was a child when I joined the "Missionary Childhood Association" at the age of 7.

Michael Casey
Hartford

I decided to enter the seminary after the death of Pope John Paul II, after seeing his witness to what one good priest can accomplish in the world.  His example of holiness, pastoral zeal, and complete dedication to Christ have shaped the type of priest I hope to be.

Joseph Fleming
Helena

I was away from the church for over 20 years and found my way back through a friend's invitation to the Cursillo movement.

Simon Peter Engurait
Houma-Thibodaux

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal dramatically changed my life, leading me out of the seminary and later back to the Seminary 15 years later!

Douglas Marcotte
Indianapolis

I am not the only person in my family studying to be a priest.  My brother Dave will be ordained a priest in 2014!

John Kamwendo
Indianapolis

I will be ordained a priest. It has been a long journey, however, through my rigorous discernment, prayers, and the support from my family and friends, finally I am now ready for ordination. I like to read, draw, garden, and cook. It is my passion to encourage those who tend to loose hope in their lives, since I have gone through that road. It is my belief that "Nothing is impossible for God!"

Martin Rodriguez Rodriguez
Indianapolis

I barely went to Mass in Mexico, but then I came to the United States and rediscovered my faith through the example of my parish priest.

David Mowry
Joliet

I acted the part of the Cowardly Lion in my high school's production of "The Wiz." The costume included a gigantic orange afro wig that nicely accented the make-up completely covering my face.

Michael Pawlowicz
Joliet

I entered seminary not because I wanted to be a priest, but simply because I wanted to give God a chance to have His say.

Marek Herbut
Joliet

I ride a motorcycle, I like snow skiing

John Lovitsch
Joliet

I enjoy early morning fishing.  For me being outdoors in the silence of the early morning is a great time to enjoy creation and pray.

Thomas McNally
Kalamazoo

I actually enjoy mathematics. My family and I have visited all 50 of the United States of America.

Benjamin Huynh
Kalamazoo

I am morning person, so I usually do my holy hour in early morning because I want to start my day in Jesus then close my day also in Him. I love tennis and sports.

Christopher Manning
Knoxville

I have been considering the priesthood since the third grade. That is when I started attending a Catholic elementary school and was able to start attending daily mass. The opportunities that my Catholic education gave me truly helped to feed my sence of vocation. By my junior year in high school, I knew that I was being called to the priesthood.

Alan Guanella
La Crosse

People might be surprised to know that I am fascinated by studying the auxiliary sciences of history such as numismatics, the study of coins, and philately, the study of postage stamps.

Kevin Hurley
Lafayette, IN

I worked as a writer and editor at a think tank before seminary.

Clayton Thompson
Lafayette, IN

I really just wanted to find some way to get out of entering seminary.  God caught up with me and showed me that He alone can fulfill the human heart and following his will. His is the path to true joy and peace.  I thank God constantly that he has given me this vocation - it is here that I have found him - and, with him, authentic life.

Thomas Haan
Lafayette, IN

I grew up on a farm, played football as a walk-on quarterback at Purdue University, and received my degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Brian Harrington
Lafayette, LA
I am an avid reader of science fiction novels.  Orson Scott Card is my favorite science fiction author!

Andre Metrejean
Lafayette, LA

I lived in Brazil for 5 months.

Neil Pettit
Lafayette, LA
I never seriously considered entering seminary until I was a freshman in college.

Dustin Dought
Lafayette, LA
I am the son of two converts to the Catholic faith - my father when I was in the first grade and my mother when I was in the fifth.

Mark Miley
Lafayette, LA
My vocation story starts when I learned to pray from my heart.  In the spring of 2000 I attended my first retreat; all I can say is that the Holy Spirit turned my life upside down.  From that time on I could never gather enough information about God or spend too much time with him.  During that time I became active in ministry work in my home parish of Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Teche, New Iberia, LA.  I always knew that God had other things planned for me.  

John Whitlock
Lansing

I did not become Catholic until I was in grad school.

Paul Erickson
Lansing

I play many different musical instruments.  I have not really mastered any of them, but I can "make a joyful noise unto the LORD!"

Arockiadas Arokiasamy
Lexington

I am a Canon Lawyer, an artist and musician.

Alan Carter
Lexington

I have learned how to be a sophisticated 'barista' using a real water boiler espresso machine during my time in seminary while managing our community's coffee shop.  What an awesome adventure formation and discernment have been!

Gary Simpson
Lexington

I was known far and wide for my signature bow ties.

Steven Mills
Lincoln

I once tore my meniscus genuflecting before the Blessed Sacrament. I agree, it was pretty ridiculous.

Cesar Magallon-Bernal
Los Angeles

I was one year away from being ordained a deacon and then priest back in 2003. I left the seminary formation for eight years and came back to the seminary in 2011 after a three year long discernment experience.

Christopher Lubecke
Louisville

I have served my country in the past and will serve our church in the future.

Garrett Kau
Madison

I worked at the UW Madison Meat Lab/Butcher shop and still make my own sausages and bacon from scratch.  I also love to cook and entertain by putting on a nice dinner party every now and then.

Steve Petrica
Madison

I served 12 years in the priesthood of the Anglican Church. Intimately connected to that vocation was the work I did for many years as a mental health and substance abuse clinician, researcher, administrator, and consultant. And for even longer than either of those I've been a big-time fan of the Beatles!

Vincent Brewer
Madison

I used to be a radio announcer and I also was a scuba diving instructor.

Andrew Nelson
Manchester

I was a Catholic school teacher for eight years before going to the Seminary, including one year in Ireland.

Michael A. Fragoso
Metuchen

I was married for 30 years. After my wife, Carmen passed away, I heard God's call and I left my Pediatric practice to follow Him. I have a son who is married and they have a 2 1/2 year old daughter.

Elvis Gonzalez
Miami

I was 6 years old when I heard for the first time the Lord's calling to be a priest.

Carlos Jose Cabrera
Miami

The privilege of being called by God has a social implication that the candidate requires to demonstrate to the world a new humanity, which reflects the expression of the unusual, the beautiful and the extraordinaire.

Arulananthan Ponnaiyan
Milwaukee

I practiced law for four years in the High Court of Chennai in India. I am a sports loving person and love to play soccar, volleyball, tennis, ping-pong, and cricket. I love dancing and I am a fun-loving person.

Anthony Mullek
Mobile

I first visited the seminary and feared that I wouldn't like it and that this would cause me to miss my calling. I left that visit fearing that, because I had enjoyed it so much, I might enter without having been called.

Deacon Jonathan Hemelt
New Orleans

I worked as a brewer for two years at Abita Brewing Company before re-entering seminary. I entered the pre-theology program at Notre Dame Seminary six years after discerning that I was called to leave St. Joseph Seminary College.

Dc. Colin Braud
New Orleans

I like sports. I like to watch sports, especially LSU and the New Orleans Saints. I like fishing and the outdoors. I also brew my own beer as a hobby.

Gary Copping
New Orleans

I spent 3 years in college seminary and 2 years in major seminary before leaving the seminary.  I was married 13 years and my wife died. I re-entered seminary in 2010 and I am now being ordained a priest this year.

Daniel H. Green
New Orleans

I am not the first person in my family to enter seminary. Both my grandfather and father studied for the priesthood. My grandfather eventually became a deacon and my father did work in ministry as well.

Jeffrey Pomeisl
New York

I began to consider the priesthood without anyone ever mentioning it to me, and with only ever knowing one priest. When I read Dr. Scott Hahn's book, "The Lamb's Supper," I truly believed that the Eucharist was my Lord and God, and I subsequently felt a call to the priesthood.

Peter Heasley
New York

I lived for over two years in Mali, in West Africa, and can speak Bambara, the local language there. It was there that I first heard the call to the priesthood (in English, though).

Jonathan Perez
Newark

I discovered my vocation living with the poor for three weeks, living in shelters to have an experience of God amongst the poor.

Leandro Nicolas Torres Mas
Newark

When I was 19 I started to question my vocation as a Christian man. Through the Eucharist the Lord was showing me little by little this vocation.

Cesar Quinones
Newark

I don t consider myself different from anybody else who is not called to become a priest. I am a regular person who likes sports, movies,reading, listening to music; hanging out with friends and having fun. Actually, for my family and friends it was a surprise that I decided to enter the seminary. I was not a pious person but God calls who he wants.

Joseph Laracy
Newark

I was involved in the NASA Deep Impact Mission prior to entering seminary.

Luis Garcia
Newark

I love to share with my family. We are 13 brothers and sisters and when I am off from school or the parish we try to get together in a regular basis and play soccer together.

Brian Maxwell
Norwich

I was transformed by God from wanting to make a lot of money into desiring to better love and serve him and his people, the church. I can now see how God slowly and gently prepared me along the way. And I wouldn't change it, or do this for a million dollars.

Brandon Macadaeg
Oakland

I enjoy reading and studying maps.

Benedict Pradit Wonganant
Oakland

I am photographer.

H. David Mendoza
Oakland

I like to read and listen to music.

Scott Belina
Ogdensburg

I am very much into the outdoors, especially hiking and camping, and remaining active. I love the natural sciences, music, reading, and working with my hands.

Brian Buettner
Oklahoma City

I received a full-paid scholarship for Medical School and was doing a medical internship in Alaska when God made it clear that I was being called to become a priest.  It was difficult to leave medicine, but it feels great to know that I was able to hear God's call and then respond to it.

John Norman
Omaha

I began to seriously consider seminary and the priesthood after being invited by a parish priest in high school.

Ruben P. Ruiz
Orange

I am very shy, and I started serving as a lector, and although I shook like a leaf inside, God gave me the courage to keep saying yes to the other ministries I was asked to serve in, and to continue to say yes to my vocation.

Benjamin Lehnertz
Orlando

I dated a girl in high school who is now a religious sister.  I never wanted to be a priest growing up.

Dominic Buckley
Orlando

I play guitar and listen to Metallica!

Ivan Olmo
Orlando

I worked for the Telephone Company for 23 years before answering the call.

George Nursey
Orlando

I am a "late" vocation that took twenty years to finally decide to answer God's persistent, though gentle call. In my free time I enjoy surfing, kayaking, walking, and reading.

Julio Barrera-Martinez
Owensboro

I would like to be a true bridge between cultures, especially between the Anglo and the Hispanic, bringing to each culture the richness each one has. I like to cook Mexican and Italian food and bake Mexican sweet bread.

Michael Cairnes
Palm Beach

I was an atheist in 8th grade while going to Catholic school and church my whole life. It wasn't until I understood how Jesus could be interesting for my life did I believe in Him. After that it only makes sense to be open to giving everything, it is the only adequate response to Jesus, who is everything.

Pierre-Soul Estefont
Palm Beach

To be a brother like Joseph for God's people (Genesis 45) with a total desire and disposal to the will of God, is likewise the nature of the Blessed Mother.

Chamindra Williams
Palm Beach

I wanted to climb Mt Everest.

Julio A Barrios
Paterson

I love this Bible verse: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither heights nor depht, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39. This has been true in my  life and I am sure that it is true in yours too.

Przemyslaw Nowak
Paterson

I come from Dzierzazna small village in Poland. Everything I have is a gift from God. I am very happy and grateful to God for the gift of vocation. Blessed John Paul the II is my example for priesthood.
I like to work with the people.

Jose Bocanegra
Paterson

I had always loved the church even as a young boy, I used to like to go to weddings in my parish church on Saturday and I liked to bring my friends and help to throw the rice. I did not understand the meaning of this but I really enjoyed being in my parish home. When my grandmother lived near us, I would run home, throw my books down and bring her to church with me. She would teach me how to pray, especially novenas and I also liked to pray to the infant of Prague. He was so beautiful, and I would talk to him like he was my friend.

Edgar Octavio Rivera
Paterson

I did Martial arts and found the discipline to help me in the future with my prayer life. I also grow in my vocation through the music that I played and sung both in church and in gatherings.

Michal Falgowski
Paterson

I always wanted to be a lawyer but God had a different plan for me.

Sean Loomis
Philadelphia

I was the college state champion in pole vaulting.

Thomas Viviano
Philadelphia

I spent time living abroad in Spain.

Kurt Perera
Phoenix

I when I was five years old, before I left Malaysia to live in the United States, I was in a  "FAB" soap commercial on TV.

R. Christopher Axline
Phoenix

I first began to consider a priestly vocation after a major car accident at the age of fourteen.

Larry Adams
Pittsburgh

I still am able to speak a little of a couple Slavic languages. (But unfortunately, haven't yet mastered the art of my Grandma's pierogi recipe!)

Mark Bentz
Portland, OR

I have been a juggler and amateur magician for 17 years.  I also grew up in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and have an equal passion for "Praise and Worship" music and Gregorian chant.

Charles Holden
Portland, OR

I felt called to the desert as a Carthusian at a very young age.

Aniceto III Guiriba
Portland, OR

I come accross to be confident and composed, but the truth is I am more reserved, inhibited, and shy, but the ministry allows me to stretch so that I am able to relate well to the community and minister to their needs well. I am an introvert and I prefer silence, solitude, observing things around me, reading books at home and common activities that an introvert loves doing.

John Marshall
Portland, OR

I worked in banking for five years, and was a branch manager for three of those years before entering the seminary.

Scott Carpentier
Providence

I discerned with a Franciscan Order for a period before applying for the diocese.

Thomas Woodhouse
Providence

I was a professional pilot for a major defense contractor.

Gino Rossi
Richmond

I was once convinced that living a priestly life would be impossible for me and would be unfulfilling.

Peter Mottola
Rochester

After converting to Catholicism, I began to seriously consider Priesthood while on a Study Abroad program in Kanazawa, Japan.

David Tedesche
Rochester

I was a highschool teacher before entering seminary.

Ryan Browning
Rockford

I was a golf pro for five years and I still enjoy playing competitively. I look forward to serving the people of God as a priest.

Manuel Gomez
Rockford

I like to cook for my friends.

Brandon O'Brien
Rockville Centre

I am the 2013 editor of "The Dunwoodie Review."

Jason Grisafi
Rockville Centre

I never altar served until college. I didn't know what a seminary was until I started the application process, yet still felt God's call to be a priest.

Arnold Parungao
Sacramento

I entered the seminary when I was twelve years old. The call from God started to surface in ordinary ways such as: first, from my parents who are pious and devoted Catholic Christians; secondly, from my former pastor who inspired me on how he lived his life as a good, humble and holy priest; lastly, from music that touched, moved and inspired me to do more for the service of God, his people and the community at large.

Antonio-Ace Racela III
Sacramento

I entered the seminary when I was 12. I am a jack of all trades and I am good at almost all sports.

Colin Wen
Sacramento

I discovered my vocation while spending a year working with the homeless and underemployed on LA's skidrow.

Guillermo Hernandez
Sacramento

I was a bank manager and I was engaged with a beautiful and sweet woman. When my fiancee and I were getting ready to get married, we begun to participate as lay members in a missionary religious community in Guadalajara. At a certain point, both of us experienced that God was calling us to consecrate our lives but we thought that God wanted us to be a missionary married couple. In order to be sure about God´s desire for us, my fiancee and I went for a month silence retreat, and in that retreat we both discovered that God was asking us to give up everything and everyone in order to follow him by embracing the celibate life. Now I am a deacon ready to be ordained a priest, and she is a nun with perpetual vows.

Ronald Torres
Sacramento

I am consistent in my prayer life and I go to Mass every Sunday. What nourishes my vocation?- it's the Holy Eucharist!

Charles Samson
Saint Louis

I ran competitive Track and Field (a 4:33 mile and 1:57 half-mile) in high school, and have a passion for Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. It is also surprising that my mother never told either my twin brother or me who was born first; to this day, we still do not know!

Leonard Andrie
Saint Paul and Minneapolis

I was voted class clown in high school.  If told I would become a priest one day, I wouldn't have laughed, but wondered what that even meant.  Eventually, the Lord got to me in His own way.  Making the decision to leave my job and enter the seminary was quite difficult.  However, after entering, I have never regretted it.

Andrew Jaspers
Saint Paul and Minneapolis

I was a college philosophy teacher and spiritual director. But I saw that the sacraments had an unsurpassed ability to heal souls and raise them to a higher life in the Gospel.

Joah Ellis
Saint Paul and Minneapolis

I have always been fascinated by computers and how they work.  I was planning to pursue a career in software engineering when God called me to enter the seminary.

Spencer Howe
Saint Paul and Minneapolis

I began to hear the Lord's call to Priesthood while I was on pilgrimage in England in 2004 as I heard the stories of the many martyr-priests who freely gave up their lives to keep the faith alive and celebrate the Sacraments. I have a particular devotion to the martyrs of every age of the Church.

Andrew Stueve
Saint Paul and Minneapolis

I love being with my family, and I love history.  More specifically, I love the history of where I grew up, and the history of my home parish.  I also enjoy researching my family tree.

John Drees
Saint Paul and Minneapolis

I read theology in my free time.

James Peterson
Saint Paul and Minneapolis

I am a big fan of board games, especially Balderdash and Scrabble. In my free time I also enjoy bowling and frisbee golf.

Andrew Brinkman
Saint Paul and Minneapolis

I have enjoyed skateboarding since I was nine years old.

Christopher Gray
Salt Lake City

I spent my summers growing up in my mother's hometown in Spain. Having free range of the rural village and its fields, I learned to love the sound of intense silence--and it was in this quiet that I first fell in love with the Lord.

Lorenzo Hatch
San Angelo

I am a Licensed Paramedic/Firefighter, Police/Fire/EMS chaplain, HAM Radio operator at the "General" Level, US Air Force Auxillary Member, and an organist/pianist.

Samuel Matthiesen
San Angelo

I am from Olfen, Texas a small German-Catholic farming community in West Central Texas. I enjoy swimming, running, and enjoying life in general and I miss the rains down in Africa. #YOLO

Francis Onyekozuru
San Angelo

I was close to becoming a professional soccer player.

Innocent Eziefule
San Angelo

I discerned my vocation at an early age. I had a lovely united Catholic family, which served as my first seminary. Also, my parish priest influenced me a lot. He was a good man, very pastoral and devoted, and loved by all. He still remains my role model. I joined the Altar Boys Association when I turned 11, a prestigious group that helped to nurture my decision to enter the seminary.

Thomas Martin
San Francisco

I am a triplet.  I am a chaplain in the San Francisco Police Department.  I am passionate about the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox.

Michael Syjueco
San Jose

I turned down an offer to be a Vice-President for Human Resources Department in a multinational oil company to answer God's call.

Mendie Nguyen
San Jose

I am a fisher of men.

Antonio Silveira
San Jose

In 1976 I left Angola, a year before I was supposed to have been ordained a priest, due to the civil war. Once in the United States, from lack of support from my former Parish Pastor I began dating, married my best friend, had a family (children and grandchildren) and when she passed away at 53, victim of breast cancer, I turned to God and He gave me another chance. It took 50 years to become a priest! It is never too late.

Robert Peccatiello
Santa Fe

I used to work in politics and my goal in life from 8th grade until I considered the priesthood in college was to be the President of the US. It has been a wild ride but one I have never regretted. I still have many of the same hobbies now that I did before seminary such as writing, reading, bowling, outdoor activities, cooking, astronomy and meteorology

Samuel Moses Brown
Santa Rosa

I thought about priesthood off and on for ten years.

Kevin O'Keefe
Savannah

I have sung in a schola or choir for the last fifteen years. People might also be surprised to know that I learned and became fluent in French after I graduated from college and that I am well on the way to do the same with Spanish.

Avery Hanna
Savannah

I was once a novice in a Benedictine Monastery some year ago and I still find Monastic Prayer attractive.

Mark Kiszelewski
Seattle

I enjoy the fine arts, especially Classical music, Opera and Ballet.

J. David Esquiliano
Sioux City

I wanted to be a missionary in Africa or Asia when I was in elementary school.

Michael Pierz
Springfield

I have studied nine languages, worked in Alaska for two summers, and was a mailman in high school.

Hyland Smith
Springfield, IL

I like to learn new hobbies.  Over my adult life I have spent time learning photography, playing the guitar, creative writing, and poker, and am currently teaching myself how to ice skate.

David Aufiero Aufiero
Springfield, MA

I have always striven to take the narrow path less chosen, and I strive to become the best version of myself. I will take this attitude into my Priesthood.

Piotr Calik
Springfield, MA

I was a chef and I like to say "Do not be afraid," just like Blessed John Paul II.

Richard Pagano
St. Augustine

The Lord drew me out of a life that was starving for meaning and revealed to me the beauty of a life committed to him in service of his bride the Church. I fell away from going to Mass at the end of High-School and beginning of College but through a couple of knee injuries and surgeries, the Lord captivated my full attention through prayer and the reading of Scripture. From there I came back to the Church with an undivided faith and began to give witness to all that the Lord had done. It has been a ten year journey of exploring the depths of our faith and I am overjoyed that the Lord has led me to the seminary. I have come to discern the great vocation which I have been given, namely a call to chaste-celibacy and priesthood. It is my hope and prayer that the Lord keep me in faithful service to him and his Church all the days of my life. +UT UNUM SINT+

Justin Paskert
St. Petersburg

I have been 8 years in the seminary.  The "Fishers of Men" came out well after I entered.

Viet Nguyen
St. Petersburg

You alone, not your works: This motto inspired me when I was in prison in Viet Nam because of religious freedom. Therefore, i considered the cell as my seminary, and Jesus was my professor.

Ernesto Madrigal
Stockton

When I was thirteen, I didn't want to be a priest.  I imagined priestly life to be the most boring thing someone could do. But, when I turned fifteen, I felt that God was calling me the priesthood.  This call evoked in me two feelings:  one of fear and one of peace.  For the following two years, I struggled with God's call until I finally gave in, but not completely.  I wanted to finish college and then see if priesthood was still for me.  In college, God's call became stronger, so I began the process involved in entering the seminary.

Christopher Seibt
Syracuse

I enjoy working outside and traveling.

Christopher Mileski
Toledo

I am an Eagle Scout and have received great support in my vocation from the skills I learned through scouting (leadership, public speaking, resourcefulness).

Jeffery Walker
Toledo

I am a big-time roller coaster fan and even worked at an amusement park during my summers in College Seminary!  I enjoy traveling, reading, playing and listening to music, and spending time with good friends around a camp fire.

Jeremy Miller
Toledo

I have a great love for sports and for music.  I love to watch and play sports as well as write and play music.

Joseph Gates
Venice

I was interested in pursuing a career in either Hollywood or Broadway.

Scott Holmer
Washington

I enjoy water skiing, sailing, racquetball and tennis.

Francisco Aguirre
Washington

I worked for the Archdiocese of Washington right out of college first in its Development office and then as a youth minister in a parish. That is how I came to recognize my call to the diocesan priesthood. I have a broad range of interests and enjoy learning new skills.

Rafael Barbieri
Washington

Being in the Neocatechumenal Way helped me to find answers to my deepest sufferings and to meet a God who loves me unconditionally. And in this love I found my vocation.

Deacon Mark Cusick
Washington

I attended a semester abroad in London, England in 2005.  I have played the trumpet in marching band, symphonies, and jazz ensembles since the 7th grade.  I went skiing once and I quickly realized that I only like looking at snow, not lying in it.

Shaun Foggo
Washington

I used to coach baseball and played baseball at Catholic University. I attended Catholic schools all of my life.

Glenn Evers
Wilmington

I enjoy growing vegetables and I like to fish.

Brian Lewis
Wilmington

As a result of my own enthusiasm for the French language and culture, the majority of my upper level students opted either to major or minor in French in college.  This significantly influenced my decision to become a priest with the hopes that my enthusiasm and love for Christ would make me a contagion for Christ and bring others to the Church.

Br. Paulavang Vuong
Benedictine Monastery of THIEN TAM

I am a slow and old turtle whom Jesus has wanted to call. I am trying to follow Him step by step each day.

Zoilo Garibay
Capuchin Franciscan - Province of Saint Joseph

I enjoy listening to classical music and going to the theater.  I also enjoy reading, cooking, and walking outdoors.

Richard Mattox
Capuchin Franciscans  - St. Mary's Province

I taught English for 5 years in Japan.  I also enjoy classic movies and exercise.

Mark Pattock
Capuchin Franciscans/Province of St. Augustine

I am a self-taught artist, I play the Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer that my grandfather handcrafted.  I was raised and lived with my Grandparents and parents in the same house.  Our family was very close.  We were always together, working together, vacationing together, and enjoying the gifts that God gave us growing up in a small river town in simplicity and joy.

Christopher Gama
Capuchin Province of Mid-America

I decided to give everything to the Lord in religious life as a Capuchin Franciscan Friar and joined the Capuchins in 2003. I am currently in theology in my fourth year of studies finishing up my final year before ordination to the priesthood. I professed solemn vows in November 2009 and was recently ordained as a transitional deacon in May of 2012.

Br. Paul Sheller
Conception Abbey

I enjoy digital photography and make wooden croziers, which we give as gifts to various bishops.  I am an avid sports fan and compete regularly in 5K races and sprint triathlons.

Victor Schinstock, OSB
Conception Abbey - OSB

I owe a lot of my vocation to witnessing my brother's conversion and his wonderful wife's faithfulness, both of whom challenged me to think more deeply about my faith and to engage the Sacraments and Catholic activities at a deeper and more frequent level.  The witness of my parents was also important.

Jarrod Waugh, CSC
Congregation of Holy Cross

I was not interested in the religious life before meeting the Congregation members while in college. Being active in the college Knights of Columbus helped me discern that I wanted to serve the Lord as part of a community of brothers.

Mark DeMott
Congregation of Holy Cross - United States Province

My time in formation with Holy Cross offered me the opportunity to travel to East Africa -- where I served as a high school teacher.

Brian Ching
Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province

I enjoy brewing beer.

Lawrence Goodwin, CJM
Congregation of Jesus and Mary (The Eudists, CJM)

I love the city life. I love the energy of the city. In it I am often amazed by the abundance of little acts of charity and kindness, especially when I remember that  God saw that it was good.  Charity and acts of loving kindness can be evangelical and they do abound.

Frederic Mizengo
Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary ( Mis

I used to play the role of a "priest" as a child with my friends.

Bernard Kayimbw Mbay
Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Miss

I decided to consider a call to the priesthood after my grandmother didn't find any priest to assist her in her last days of life.

Elton John Letang
Congregation of The Most Holy Redeemer - The Redem

I made the transition from teaching to "preaching" (priesthood) very easily. I knew the Redemptorists most of my life, so, it was rather easy to choose this group of men to follow and continue the tradition of St. Alphonsus.

Br. Ambrose Mary Little, O.P.
Dominican Order, Province of St. Joseph

I was named after a Dominican priest in my own family. I am grateful for his prayers that have brought me here.

Michael Tinker
Franciscan Friars TOR Province of the Most Sacred

I played football, soccer, and ran track in high school and went on to run track in college. I also play the guitar and love to read.

Ronald Hurl
Franciscan Friars, TOR Sacred Heart Province

I love to sing and dance.  I also love to climb mountains.

Dae Kim
Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers

I was baptized as an adult and I had years of work experience outside the seminary. As an only child I want to be a foreign missioner.

Michael Magree
Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus

I found my vocation through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. I went on an 8-day retreat and was overwhelmed by the love of God.

Rev. Br. Juan M. Gaspar, O.M.I.
Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

I received a great confirming insight that religious priesthood is my call, I feel more alive than ever. Being able to experience all of the emotions and knowing how to experience them has helped me become a more compassionate and empathetic minister. I love watching movies and discovering the redeeming quality of Christian message.

Michel Bineen Mukad
Missionhurst CICM Missionaries

I play Soccer, like Basketball & Hockey games, and enjoy Politics.

Br. Basil Lawrence, OSB
Mount  Angel Abbey

I used to study for the diocesan priesthood, but found my monastic vocation through the beauty of the sacred liturgy as celebrated in the chanted Divine Office of my community.

Edward Ogden
Oblates of St. Francis de Sales

I was a brother in the Oblate of St. Francis de Sales for 25 years before my transition to priesthood candidate.  I was inspired to become a priest because of my ministry as Director of Formation for my community as well as Campus Minister of Georgetown Visitation School.

Brian Zumbrum
Oblates of St. Francis DeSales

I spent 48 hours as a homeless person as a social justice initiative as part of my college social outreach program

John Shearer, OSJ
Oblates of St. Joseph - Holy Spouses Province, USA

I really enjoy spending time with my confreres, family and friends.  I also enjoy traveling, hiking and reading sci-fi novels.

Joaquin Mejia
OFM

I wanted to promote faith through plays based on the scriptures. In Catholic schools and ministry in parishes.I believe that it is possible to involve people in our church by inviting them and accompanying them.

Edgar Lopez
Order of Carmelites (PCM Province)

My vocation to Carmel came about through ministering with the young adult Latino/as at my parish who had recently arrived to this country.

Paul Mary Schneider, OFM Conv.
Order of Friars Minor Conventual

I was 48 years old when I entered the Conventuals Franciscan Order, 28 years after I originally started my seminary studies.  I couldn't be happier!

Br. Albert Duggan, O.P.
Order of Preachers (Dominicans)

I decided to turn down a career in medicine to pursue a vocation to the priesthood.  I'm glad I did.

Nicholas Monco
Order of Preachers, Province of St. Albert the Great

I resisted the call to priesthood mightily.  I very much wanted to get married but in the end, I believed that this was what God wanted and that it was something that could make me truly happy.

Matthew Carroll, O.P.
Order of Preachers, Province of St. Joseph

I was a music major in college, playing the trombone and doing instrumental conducting.

Br. Augustine DeArmond, O.P.
Order of Preachers, Province of St. Martin de Porres

I knew Dominican friars all my life, but did not discern my religious vocation until a friar asked me to consider it. I firmly believe that vocation work is personal work.

Thomas Christopher Schaefgen
Order of Preachers, Province of St. Martin de Porres

I did not seriously consider the priesthood until I visited Honduras in college while studying to be an architect.  After I finished my degree and began work, that experience in Honduras returned.  As I felt a strong desire to do something self-giving with my life, I remembered my experiences of people filled with faith, but often without spiritual guidance... and so I sensed a call to be a preacher and joined the Order of Preachers.

Br. Dominic David Maichrowicz, OP
Order of Preachers, Province of the Most Holy Name

I had a Catholic Rock band in college, started reading St. Thomas Aquinas when a secular professor made an obviously false attribution to him, and used to write ride-control software for an amusement park.

Alan Vincent, O. Praem. Benander
Order of Premontre (St. Michael's Abbey, Orange, CA)

I once jumped out of an airplane.  I love to play and watch sports, with the greatest game on earth-- baseball-- being my favorite (although, hockey, football, basketball, soccer, and other sports are also pretty good, too).  My Dad invented a board-game called "Zenn" (no, it has absolutely nothing to do with Buddhism!); it's a pretty addictive game. 

Robert Basler
Order of Saint Augustine

I went to public school all my life and was never very "religious." I started on my journey with a personal encounter with Jesus. I love fishing!

Joseph Mary Cao Nhan Do
Order of the Friars of Preachers, St. Vicent Liem

I am a shy introvert and have had little capacity to study or to continue my studies up to this point.  Sometimes, I think about how God must have an excellent sense of humor to call me to the Order of Preachers.  I do not know how I would have gotten through Philosophy and Theology if it were not for God's grace, love, and mercy.

Fernando Lopez-Castillo
Province of St. Augustine in California

My hobbies are daily prayer and long walks at the beach and mountains.

Miguel Suarez
Salesians of St. John Bosco

I like classic rock,  I like to rollerblade and skateboard.

Rene Francisco Gerona
Society of Divine Word

I gave up a good stable job for the sake of becoming a priest. Looking back, I am more blessed now than before. God indeed is generously providing my everyday needs!

Raul Navarro
Society of Jesus

Even though I am bilingual I would have a hard time learning another language.

Patrick Gilger, S.J.
Society of Jesus - Wisconsin Province

I had never seen religious people who balanced intellectual depth, willingness to sacrifice for what they claimed to believe, all while being (relatively) normal before meeting the Jesuits at Creighton.  It was that combination that allowed me to begin the long journey into an affective relationship with the living God.

Phillip Ganir
Society of Jesus (California Province)

I started thinking about the Jesuits after reading "anti-Jesuit" propaganda at the bookstore and online.  I figured that a religious order which has sparked that type of attention deserved a closer and more nuanced consideration.  It was there that I found Jesus calling.

Jayme Stayer
Society of Jesus, Chicago-Detroit Province

I am a professional singer and have sung with the choruses of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Cleveland Orchestra. I am also an author of scholarly books and articles, many of them focusing on rhetoric and T. S. Eliot.

William Noe
Society of Jesus, Maryland Province

I worked as a research scientist and an electrical engineer before becoming a Jesuit.

Hyginus L. Boboh
Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart

The mystery of the priesthood and how Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest who gave himself up in service and sacrifice deeply affected my life. For me, the priesthood is a special call to humility and selfless service in the Lord's vineyard for the sake of the Kingdom.

Anthony Okwum
Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart  "The Jo

As a candidate for the priesthood, I believe and I am convinced that the Lord does not call the Perfect but He perfects the called and sends the called to be a witness of the Gospel in the world.

Emmanuel Awe
Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Inc. ak

I love to read anything that is available. I read the bible, cover-to-cover, over four times. The bible was always around. My mother told me the story of Samuel so much that at a point I began to think I was Samuel. My parish experience clarified my vocation as the parish priest had too much to do but no ordained help.

Robert Jansen
Society of the Precious Blood Cincinnati Province

I learned yoga and meditation during formation. I also had an opportunity to do a few retreats with different faith communities.

Brother Simeon Leiva-Merikakis, OCSO
St. Joseph's Abbey (Spencer), Cistercians of the S

I was 56 years old before entering my monastery, and I will be 66 at the time of ordination.  I have three children and six grandchildren, who have participated intensely in my vocational discernment process.  I could not have made it without their love, understanding and active support.

Br. Jeremiah Lange
St. Vincent Archabbey

I struggled with addictions for 20 years following high school. After gaining sobriety I went to college and continued until completing a Ph.D. at the University of Florida. I visited St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pa. when visiting my family in Pittsburgh and was convinced I was supposed to be there. Early in my monastic vocation I did discern the call to the priesthood in the context of my monastic vocation. I could never have imagined any of this.

Maximilian Maxwell
St. Vincent Archabbey, a Benedictine community

I worked professionally for the Boy Scouts and eventually worked in corporate security.  I enjoy running, hiking, and mountain biking.

Br.  John (Paul) Bayer
The Cistercian Order

I knew absolutely nothing about monastic life growing up; and it was only when I actually met monks and saw how happy they were in their vocation that I discovered how much I wanted to join them in their way of life.

Toshio Sato
The Congregation of the Mission, Western Province

I enjoyed cS (Japanese fencing) when I was young.

Ricardo Pineda Jr.
The Fathers of Mercy

I played the trumpet in the Band of the Fighting Irish and enjoyed salsa dancing during college, that I graduated from the University of Notre Dame in three years, and I learned how to breakdance after becoming a religious brother.

Patrick Gonyeau
My vocation is directly tied to a re-version to the Catholic faith that God blessed me with that began around the age of 25.  While I was still quite lost, he really simply and clearly spoke to my heart one day, after someone convinced me to read the psalms, and said "you can give me your life" and then an image of the priesthood flashed in my mind...it was authentic, beautiful and the rest is history!



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