Meet the Seminarians
“You know, you would make a good priest. Have you ever thought about becoming a priest?” Throughout the course of life not many things stay the same, but for me these were two things that I’d always hear from other people. This was a favorite question of family, friends, and parishioners alike; even more so when I became an altar server. As a kid, I didn’t want to hear it and I used to get mad and embarrassed when people said it. “I’m pretty sure I want to get married and have a family,” was always my response. But therein lies the problem, I knew what I wanted, but not once did I ever stop and consider what the Lord wanted.
My early years of school were great. They were all filled with great friends and always centered on Christ. I always went to Mass with my parents and enjoyed learning about my faith. This continued on through high school at Bishop Hendricken. Looking back the thought of the priesthood occasionally entered my mind but I never really paid much attention to it. These thoughts were usually quick and always went away after awhile.
However, around the time I was set to graduate high school I remember feeling very uneasy inside. As I’m sure most people know, being eighteen-years-old and being asked “What do you want to do with the rest of your life,” is no easy reality to face and a tough decision to make. In 2009, I entered the University of Rhode Island as an undecided freshman and really had no idea what I wanted to do. So I took it easy during my first year of college, got a couple of part-time jobs that are typical of your everyday college kid, and thought long and hard about what I should pick as a major. I always thought television and radio were pretty cool and people always told me I had a great voice, so I decided to major in communication. As a full time student with two jobs, I had quite the busy schedule and unfortunately it was around this time that my faith began to take a back seat to everything else going on in my life.
Fortunately, this period didn’t last very long as I realized just how lonely a life not centered on the Lord truly is. Recommitting myself to Mass and daily prayer was a big step and truly brought me happiness. During this time I also was working as a sacristan at my home parish. This was instrumental in my discernment because it helped to cement a love for the liturgy and the Eucharist deep within my heart. I remember one Sunday afternoon, after a busy morning in the parish, sitting in my room doing my homework and all of a sudden the thought of one day becoming a priest suddenly popped into my head. But this one was different then all the rest; out of nowhere I felt an attraction to the priesthood in the form of a warm, radiating feeling of joy. “Stay calm” I told myself, “this feeling will pass.” A few years later, it has yet to go away!
It didn’t take me long for me to start gathering information about possibly entering the seminary. After taking some time to pray on it and to finish my undergraduate degree, I began to apply to become a seminarian for the Diocese of Providence. At the same time that I was doing this, I received my final credits from URI in the form of an internship at a local radio station. Five weeks after I started, I was hired part-time. This was great and quickly became the coolest job I had up until that point in my life. I got to meet some really great people and produce my own live radio shows. I figured if my application for the seminary gets accepted then I’ll go, if not then I’ll try to build a career for myself on the radio. Fortunately, I was accepted and in late summer 2013 I entered the seminary. As I write this, I have only been in the seminary a few weeks but already I can see just how rewarding a life it is. Each day brings its own challenges, and while it’s not always easy, it important to remember what lies ahead at the end of the road.