Vocation Stories

Being with the People

Brendan Fitzgerald spent most of his 20s working as the general manager of a seafood market in Towson, Maryland. Many of his employees were middle-class high school- and college-aged men, and he got to know some of them quite well. Those relationships ultimately helped him discern that the priesthood might be in his future.

Surrounded By Good Examples

John Striefel was led to his vocation by the witness of friends and family It’s always helpful when you’ve got solid examples in your life of people living out their vocations with love and joy. It’s helpful to discern marriage when surrounded by examples of faithful married couples living their call to holiness, and it’s easier to discern a vocation to …

Living the Dream

The priesthood allowed Fr. Jack to follow his passions Fr. Jack Lombardi recently received a Gibson SG electric guitar as a gift from one of his parishioners. He also plays violin and banjo. He hikes. He plays sports, too. He is an avid author who covers topics like current events in the Church, faith, spirituality, prayer, theology, social issues and morality, …

Seminarian Finds Truth in Catholic Social Teaching

Nicholas Wentworth’s concern for social justice lead him to the seminary.

In Tune With the Lord

The Vocation Story of Fr. Jesse Bolger Fr. Jesse Bolger’s childhood was filled with music. His family’s musical inclinations led to careers in music for his sister, who is now married, and his brother, who is currently in formation at the Dominican House of Studies. It was music, too, that led to Fr. Bolger’s first encounter with God. “When you …

“Even I Could Make a Difference”

Getting to know priests when he was growing up helped Kevin Ewing discern his own vocation Kevin Ewing always knew he wanted to serve people, and growing up at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Hydes, he had plenty of opportunities to get to know the priesthood on a very human level. Ultimately, this led him to seminary, where …

Discerning One Day at a Time

Michael Rubeling continues to follow God’s Call All throughout seminary, Michael Rubeling—now a deacon in the Archdiocese of Baltimore—kept reminding himself of the same idea. “God called me in,” Rev. Mr. Rubeling used to say. “Until He calls me out, until I receive a positive call someplace else, I’m staying in.” When he first got to Our Lady of Providence …

From Princeton to the Priesthood

An eye on public service helps lead Fr. Harris to his vocation Fr. Raymond Harris, the third parish priest of African-American descent to be ordained in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, was an ambitious youngster who thought a lot about the future. As a sixth-grader, he first thought he would be a teacher. No, he’d become a television news anchor. No, that …

Priests With ‘Joy and Freedom’ Helped Lead Tyler Kline to Seminary

Sometimes, before you can take the first step to discerning the priesthood, there is a bumpy process with a lot of twists and turns that can take years. Tyler Kline on the other hand, helped in large part by his parents’ insistance that he attend Catholic Schools, took the first step a long time ago, and he’s been following the …

Still Asking Questions at 88

He’s still asking questions In 1935, Arthur Bastress was in Bon Secours Hospital in Baltimore, receiving the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. He was stricken with a form of pneumonia, and appendicitis, and his doctors didn’t give him much of a chance of survival. Meanwhile, his mother Francis was in another wing giving birth to his sister, Joan Marie. …

From Southern Baptist Navy man to Catholic seminarian

When Kentucky native Bill Keown began his career a linguist in the Navy, he knew Jesus Christ through the Southern Baptist church and was probably as far from Catholicism as a Christian can be. He was definitely nowhere near becoming a Catholic seminarian on the road to the priesthood. That wouldn’t happen for another couple of decades. In high school, …

Choosing the Priesthood over a Career in Music

The Vocation Story of Fr. Louis Bianco For Fr. Louis Bianco, becoming a priest wasn’t necessarily part of the plan. Fr. Bianco grew up in a good Catholic home, attended Mass every week and prayed with his family on a regular basis. But his plans for the future centered around a career as a classically-trained clarinetist, not a diocesan priest. …

Conversion Sparks Desire for the Priesthood

The Vocation Story of Jeremy Smith Jeremy Smith seemed to have it all: a degree from a great university, the job of his dreams, and a woman he planned to marry. Not until things began to unravel in his life did he realize that he was missing the most important thing – God! Jeremy, 37, grew up in a suburb …

Courtroom to Confessional

The Vocation Story of Msgr. James Farmer “I thought about priesthood my whole life,” said 67-year-old Msgr. James Farmer. “But I’m what you call a delayed vocation. I finally realized that unless my will coincided with God’s will, there would be a lack of joy in life.” Msgr. Farmer attended Catholic grade schools and Archbishop Curley High School, then went …

A Man for the Poor

The Vocation Story of Joshua Laws As a young religion teacher at John Carroll High School, Joshua Laws was so committed to the welfare of the students he taught and coached, he imagined he would work there his entire life. But God had other plans. ​In his second year of teaching, 300 students sang Happy Birthday to him in the …

Computer Chip Designer Pursues Priesthood

The Vocation Story of Christopher DeLeon What does it take to be a priest? Heroic virtue? Outsized charisma? A sin-free past? For many young men—including seminarian Christopher DeLeon—the bar seems so high that no one could possibly measure up. “Growing up, I had so many outstanding priests as role models,” said Christopher. The priests he had encountered seemed larger than …

Giving up Gold for God

The Vocation Story of Deacon James Boric In 2006, over the span of just five months, Deacon James Boric went from being a non-practicing Catholic to a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. His is a story of overnight conversion, of near-miraculous signs, and the enduring power of friendship. Deacon James describes growing up in a typical Catholic family, going …