God has a specific calling for each of us. Whether it is priesthood, marriage, the single life, or anything in between, God, at the moment when we were created, had a plan in mind for us. For most people, this call is marriage. For me, God’s call has led me to seek out a new path.
The history of God’s call dates back to the Book of Genesis: God calls Abram to “your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). The Apostle Peter calls upon everyone to “let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:6). The call to priesthood is a special, holy, and specific call. It is one that requires years of discernment, thought, and reflection. This unique call is also one that I have discerned and decided to act on.
I have decided to enter Borromeo Seminary in the Diocese of Cleveland this upcoming year. My journey and time at Boston College is to be cut short by two years. The idea that I will leave my friends, opportunities, extracurricular activities, and the City of Boston is saddening, even frightening. I have no idea what my future holds. What if the priesthood is not for me? Will I miss Boston College? What do I do if priesthood is not for me? These questions are important, but God answers: “Peace child, for you do not understand” (C.S Lewis, A Grief Observed).
My faith in God has led me to decide to immerse myself in the Catholic Seminary. My discernment has been a process spanning over many years. Instead of going to Seminary out of high school, I decided to attend Boston College to explore science and experience college outside of my home in Ohio. I did this, and through science and through my experiences at Boston College, God kept pounding at the door. God never came down and told me what to do. God simply kept telling me, “Come, child. Trust in me.” Never forcing, God nudged me to drop everything and trust in Him. I have come to the edge of the cliff. It is now time to jump and trust that God will lead me wherever God needs me to be.
The call to priesthood for me is exciting and terrifying at the same time. Am I worthy? Why me? Am I doing the wrong thing? These questions bother me, but God again takes these questions and responds with four words: “Trust and have faith.” Have faith that God will take all of me and transform me into a beloved child of God. Trust that my vocation will serve God in the vocation that I am called to, whether that is through being God’s priest or through marriage.
Do not get me wrong, I have no idea whether I will be ordained a priest in seven years. I am certain that the time has come for me to explore this vocation in intentional time and space. Seminary will offer me the space to come to “know thyself” greater. I hope to grow in faith, hope, and caritas there. I want to seek God there. But most of all, I want to say “yes” continually to God, and learn to place my full faith and trust in Him.
As I leave this beautiful (bye Gasson), formative, and truly good place I have called home for the past two years, Boston College has served as a place of formation and clarity for me. I am deeply grateful for the friends I have made, professors I have had, knowledge I have gained, and people I have served. From serving my residents on Newton, performing in Full Swing, surviving General Chemistry, or writing for this newspaper, I am grateful. To Boston College, I am indebted to what this place has given me.
My journey of faith has led me to accept the calling that God has for me. Whether that is as a priest or not, I do not know. I am putting myself in God’s hands to lead me to complete joy in serving Him, in whatever capacity that may be. In the meantime, my prayer is this for everyone I have met here at Boston College:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you,
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face towards you
and give you peace;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen.
To everyone here, thank you.