What were some of the challenges you faced while discerning your call to the priesthood, and what gave you the strength/courage to overcome them?
One challenge I had before seminary was not taking enough concrete steps to move forward. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be a priest but I did not enter the seminary to properly discern it. As a result, it was just something that remained in the back of my mind like a thorn in the flesh. Another challenge was that once I was in seminary, I worried that I could be ordained as a priest without actually being called to be a priest, and, therefore, that I would be unhappy as a priest. I wanted a clear sign from God telling me if I was called to the priesthood or not, but I wasn’t getting it. One day I realized that God wanted me to be as much a part of the decision as He was. When I realized that I also had a say in it, I decided for myself that I would become a priest and then I was at peace going forward after that. In the process, I also continued with a strong prayer life, doing holy hours every day which would often give me peace that I was doing the right thing. I also would see small signs throughout confirming for me that it was good to continue the path to the priesthood.
How would you describe your experience in the seminary?
My seminary experience was challenging at the Josephinum in that I was an older man living with younger men, some in their early 20s. Relatability was a factor. But then when I went to Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary with older men, I was able to relate better to my fellow seminarians and felt more comfortable. I really enjoyed that seminary. But both seminaries formed me well to become a good and holy priest.
What has been the best thing about being a priest?
The best thing about being a priest is celebrating the Sacraments and bringing people to an encounter with God. It is also joyful knowing that I am doing what God has called me to do. I also enjoy being with the people and bringing them joy.
What does being a priest mean to you?
Being a priest means helping people to be holy through a very particular vocation. It means having a great responsibility for the salvation of souls, yet finding joy in doing this very particular work. I still marvel after a year and a half that God has given me this great gift of being a priest and having that power to effect a positive change in people’s lives for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. I even smile often while saying Mass.
Fr. Dave Sizemore
Fr. David Poliafico
Fr. Jim Klima
Msgr. Joseph Hendricks
Fr. Brian O'Connor
Fr. Nic Ventura
Vocation and Discernment
St Louise de Marillac
Bishop James E Walsh
Dom Helder Camera
Diocese of Columbus, OH
Office of Vocations
197 E Gay Street
Columbus OH 43215