The Church celebrates National Vocation Awareness Week this year from November 5-11. According to the USCCB, it is “an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States dedicated to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations.” In order to learn more about vocations and discernment, the Catholic Apostolate Center reached out to men currently in formation and asked them the following three questions: What were you doing before formation? What are you doing now? And what has this transition been like? Below are their answers about the transition from the collegiate atmosphere into formation for the priesthood and/or Consecrated life.
What were you doing before formation?
Besides delaying the inevitable and drinking too much coffee, I was studying Philosophy and Theology as an undergraduate student at The Catholic University of America before entering into formation. I was a Resident Assistant for three years and was involved with the Knights of Columbus Council on campus. I also had a part-time job working in the Liturgy Office at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. This experience strengthened my desire to serve as a parish priest, and ultimately led me from my status as professional discerner to full-time seminarian.
What are you doing now?
I am currently studying for my home Diocese of Rockville Centre at Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York (about 30 minutes north of New York City). It is the major seminary for the Archdiocese of New York and the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre. I am in my first year of Theology studies, which is the beginning of a four-year academic track.
What has this transition been like?
I have had a very smooth transition into my first year of seminary. Having no background in college seminary or pre-theology has had its own set of challenges, but my undergraduate career at Catholic University proved to be very formative. Life in seminary is a structured vocational program, though it is designed for your benefit. It is a consolation knowing that where the formation faculty leads me will result in spiritual progress and preparedness for priestly ministry. There is amazing freedom that comes in submitting to God’s will and allowing him to supply each day with new excitement and joy.
To learn more about Vocational Discernment, please visit our Vocational Discernment Resource Page.