interview

After a seminarian from the diocese of Richmond sent us a note giving feedback on our blog, we asked him for an interview, to see what he had to say about the path to priesthood, as well as some general pieces of advice for Catholic Teenagers.  Without further ado, here is the interview, enjoy!

Maddie Catherine- How long have you felt called to the priesthood?

 The Seminarian- Relatively speaking, not for very long! The first time the idea of becoming a priest seriously crossed my mind was during a retreat on September 9, 2011, the beginning of my junior year in college. I know a lot of my seminarian classmates who felt God calling them from a young age, but I never gave it any thought until after I had developed a serious prayer life in college. 

Maddie Catherine- If you weren’t going to become a priest, what would you be?

 The Seminarian- Believe it or not, I wanted to be an archaeologist. My discernment started shortly after I’d chosen to major in Classics, which meant studying a lot of Latin literature and ancient Roman and Greek culture. I’ve loved their art and history since I was quite young, and I had the chance in 2010 to visit Italy and see a lot of it for myself. As it turned out, I also got to visit a ton of the Catholic sites in Padua, Assisi, and Rome, even though I wasn’t terribly excited about them at the time. I’m glad I studied Classics, though – the priesthood is one of the few occupations where knowing Latin is still useful!

Maddie Catherine- How did you figure out God was calling you to be a priest?

  The Seminarian- Like I mentioned before, I’d never felt called to the priesthood until one fateful day on retreat. I had just transferred into the College of William and Mary as a junior, and promptly signed up for their New Student Retreat in the hopes of getting to know the students in our Catholic Campus Ministry. During our Eucharistic Adoration service the first night of that retreat, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my major, and found myself mentally running through all the places I’d seen on my visit to Italy the year before. The idea of studying a lot of those sites seemed fun to me, but none of them really felt right, so I kept thinking and praying. 

 For a brief moment, I found myself thinking about the Pontifical North American College – the American seminary in downtown Rome, which I’d passed on the street during my visit – and then, very suddenly, I had a vivid image in my mind of myself, wearing the black clerical clothes of a priest or seminarian, standing in front of the building. At the same time, I had a very deep-set feeling of peace, but I quickly freaked out – I didn’t want to be a priest! In fact, I was in a wonderful dating relationship at the time, so entering seminary was exactly the last thing I wanted to do. 

 It took months of prayer and learning more about the life of a priest before I realized that a lot of my fears were based either in my own misunderstandings, or often in the simple fact that I hadn’t yet learned to really trust God. I did eventually contact my vocation director and seriously start discerning that call, though – and I’m glad, because it’s honestly been the best choice I ever made!

Maddie Catherine- What is your favorite bible verse/passage

 The Seminarian- It’s hard to pick just one. Right now I’m particularly fond of Our Lady’s fiat in Luke 1:38: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word,” both for the significance of that moment for humanity, and because of her awesome example for how we should respond to God.

Maddie Catherine- Who is your patron/confirmation saint?

The Seminarian- Oddly enough, I was Confirmed without a patron saint, so I spent a few years wondering who my patron was. Recently, though, I’m happy to say I was “adopted” by St. Therese of Liseux, who turned out to be the perfect spiritual friend and guide for me – she was a prayer partner with two seminarians during her lifetime, and once said of her vocation, “I came to Carmel to save souls and especially to pray for priests.” We’re very fond of each other.

Maddie Catherine- If you could describe God in one word what would it be?

The Seminarian-  Love.

Maddie Catherine- If you could ask God one question right now what would it be?

  The Seminarian- Will I be a Saint?


 Maddie Catherine- What is one thing you have learned over the years that you would tell Catholic teenagers now?

The Seminarian- Don’t be afraid to live all-out for God! We live in a culture that pushes us to be very realistic and limited in our goals, but I think everyone has a deeply rooted desire to live an awesome and fulfilling life. We have these desires for a reason – on some level, we all want to be Saints! That means committing in a very down-to-earth way to loving God as much as we possibly can, even if it looks like we’re a really long way from genuine holiness. That’s really all it takes, because God’s always happy to meet us where we’re at and carry us the rest of the way.


Maddie Catherine- What is the number one way you have become closer to God? 

The Seminarian- Talking to Him face-to-face in Eucharistic Adoration. I wish everyone understood just how mind-blowing a gift it is to have that kind of personal contact with Christ. Our spiritual lives are a relationship very much like our earthly friendships, which means that these conversations are important!

To Be Continued…

Maddie Catherine

Written by Fire of The Spirit

Fire of the Spirit is a Catholic teen group devoted to the evangelization and awakening of Catholic teenagers everywhere, both in the beliefs of the Church and the importance of the world we live in. Our mission is to join with other like minded teens from all over the world and set the world ablaze with the love of Christ through inspiring and truth-filled media. For as Pope Francis states quite well, “Jesus teaches us another way. Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit”. At it’s core, this group is meant to be a refuge where people of all different backgrounds and lifestyles can come together in Catholic fellowship with the common goal of helping us all to become closer and more united with Christ and our faith. That is to say that this group believes the best way to help ourselves and others grow in faith is to engage actively together with each other; moreover, it is for this reason that our publications are promised to be "for teens by teens" and shall remain so forever more. "Be who you were created to be and you will set the world on fire" - St. Catherine of Siena

4 comments

  1. Such a loving article on Christ’s Call to His Priesthood. Thanks for putting online this interview. I hope many read it. Best thing I’ve read online, all day! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s