The Ventura family, with parents Deanna and Nic, and Columbus Diocese seminarian and first-year collegian, Nic Ventura, and his younger siblings Stacie, Kyle, and Robert, are active parishioners at Lancaster St. Mary.
According to parent Nic, “When Nic was baptized he had his hands folded across his chest and he was just a few weeks old. I thought he would either be a father of 12 or a priest Father of 12,000.”
Nic came to his parents during his junior year in high school and said that he thought he might have a call to the priesthood. “So we talked and I thought that he hadn’t really experienced life enough to know for sure,” said his mother Deanna. “My husband and I encouraged him to go to college for a year and he did. But during his freshman year of college, he was a Confirmation sponsor to our younger son Kyle and in Feb., 2008, he decided to go to seminary to discern a call to the priesthood.”
Parent Nic explains that he asked about seminary because it had been on his heart. “God speaks in our heart and that is how you know what you are supposed to do. And I asked Nic if he was at peace and he was.”
Both Deanna and Nic have been very supportive of son Nic’s decision to go to seminary. “He is having a good time and the academics are challenging, but he loves it, and he doing very well there,” said Deanna. “In fact, after Nic told us about his call to the priesthood, my husband shared with us that he had thought about becoming a priest when he was a young man.”
As Nic completed the paperwork, one of the questions asked about other religious in the family. “We realized that we have a great uncle who was a Msgr. on my husband’s side. I had a great aunt who was a Nun in Cuba,” said Deanna. “And I have a distant cousin who was a priest in Cuba.”
Deanna and Nic are pleased that their son Nic has really enjoyed seminary and is very motivated to get good grades. “We have always been faithful to Sunday Mass as a family,” said Deanna. “Now Nic also attends daily Mass even whenever he is home from seminary.”
“Whenever Nic stops home, he has so much to talk about. This has been a wonderful experience for our whole family. Nic and I talk about any number of school-related topics,” said parent Nic. “He has invited me to sit in on a Theology or Philosophy class. When I am in the area I will do that as his instructors gave their approval.”
“We are so proud of him and he has our complete support,” continue Deanna. “Everyone, even family members who aren’t very active in the Church are very supportive of Nic becoming a priest. They have a respect for the calling.”
The family has enjoyed having Nic close to home as he is at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington. “It has just been a natural transition for him.”
Deanna commented that after Nic told the family he was going to seminary, a family member said, “You love babies so much and now you’ll never have one.” Nic’s response was, “I’ll have a whole congregation of babies to hold.”
Deanna’s advice for other parents of young men who may experience God’s call to the priesthood is this: “Talk with them. Don’t be selfish about it. If they want to go to seminary, give them that chance and don’t make them wait. They know in their heart what God is calling them to do,” said Deanna. “We prayed and my husband and I talked with Nic about it, but Nic did everything to prepare for seminary. He answered all the questions and he let the Lord lead him.”
Parent Nic recommends that parents “stop and listen, and really listen if your son wants to talk to you about the priesthood. Listen and participate in the growing process and watch that wonderful fire in their heart grow. Pray and ask for strength in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
Deanna says that she is so pleased that he is very happy. “I am glad for him and I am proud, but I would be proud of whatever he wanted to do.”Empty portfolio item. Please make sure you have created it or check the short code.