Before I entered the seminary, I was a student in the Howard County Public School System who was devoted to the Space Sciences. I was never really religious and never really practiced my faith. I would occasionally go to Mass and not think much about it. It wasn’t until after I watched a film adaption of the Gospels that I began to think about Christ as the center of my life. Because I welcomed Christ into my life, He inflamed my heart with the desire to become a priest. Ever since the moment I welcomed Christ into my heart, He has been the center of my life.
One thing that really attracts me to the priesthood is being able to give my entire life to Christ and His Church. Priests do this by administering the sacraments and celebrating the Mass, bringing Christ to the people and the people to Christ. The Church is the priest’s bride, and the parishioners his children. Priests are the spiritual fathers of their children and will spill their blood for them just as Christ did for His people.
There are many great saints whom I look up to for inspiration. But my favorite saint has got to be St. John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests. The priest’s heart is that of a parish priest, and St. John Vianney’s was burning with that desire. He simply wanted to love Christ and live as He did, which we priests, seminarians and faithful Catholics strive for daily. He didn’t desire promotion within the Church, but rather to be a holy servant of God. He truly was the model priest–other than Jesus–whom we should model the priesthood after, and that is how I want to be eight years from now when, God willing, I begin the ministry of the priesthood.