years at Holy Name Elementary and Bishop Carroll High School, I
always wondered about the possibility of one day becoming a priest.
My family never pressured me, and it was not something I felt I had
to do, but I did think about it a lot throughout that time.
In 1998 I left
Ebensburg for the college world of UPJ and fell away from my faith.
I thought I had officially put all thoughts of organized religion
behind me, Catholicism, let alone the priesthood . As a philosophy
major at UPJ, I struggled with the existence of God and importance
of religion, and thought I was developing a strong grip on
“reality.” By the time I graduated college, I knew I believed in
God, but that was about all I knew. Then God began to work on me
through books and articles, and began to move in my life in a whole
I was hired to
teach 10th grade religion at Bishop McCort High School in
Johnstown. Here, I grew so much. Eventually God moved me toward
youth ministry at Holy Name, and it was here that I came to know God
in a new and more personal way.
One day at
Eucharistic adoration, I felt like God was speaking directly to my
heart, and I heard him invite me to be a priest. This was quite
surprising, since I thought I had put these old thoughts behind
me. In fact, I had even told my family and a recent girlfriend that
“it isn’t what God wants for me.” Boy was I wrong! As I continued
to pray and to read, I felt more and more drawn to priesthood.
It was not an
easy journey coming to the realization that God’s plan for my life
wasn’t the same as mine. Thankfully I had a supportive family and
two wonderful priests in Msgr. Gaus and Fr. Reese who gave me honest
and fair advice with no pressure. I have come to understand God’s
specific call at this time is to join the TOR Franciscans in
Loretto. Msgr. Gaus and Fr. Reese have encouragingly said that if I
continue to pray, asking to do only God’s Will, I can’t go wrong.
Boy, were they right! I have greater peace and happiness now than
I’ve ever had in my life.
And so I look
forward to being molded ever more perfectly by the Will of God, and
to that day when God allows me to enter into his holy priesthood.