Gregory Downs

Before seminary I was in college studying English, Philosophy, and Theology. Before that, I was at home with my family (I have 7 younger brothers and sisters) and I played soccer, read and wrote stories for fun, and prayed the rosary with my family every night. It was at the end of high school that I became convinced that God alone could make me happy… it was in college that I realized that becoming a priest was how I could get “God alone.”

One thing that attracts me to the priesthood: Being able to bring God down from Heaven (because He lets me) and hold Him in my hands, in the Sacred Host, which St. Faustina called “the little Jesus,” is the most beautiful and terrifying thing I can think of, period. That is what priests do, and they give God to the people.

St. Philip Neri, the “apostle of joy,” is my favorite saint. He would end many conversations with the words, “so, what good shall we do today?” He also spent long hours in prayer asking for God to make Him more like Christ, and to show him His holy will. In a time when many doubted the Faith and lived bustling, pleasure-filled, empty lives, St. Philip shone brightly because of his ardent love for God. We should all be very blessed to catch some of that fire.