Today’s Vocation Story comes from Sean Wilson, a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati who is currently first year of Theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West in Cincinnati, OH. Sean is a son of Emmanuel parish in Dayton, OH.
I grew up in Vandalia Ohio which is about 15 minutes north of Dayton. I went to public school until college. I have two brothers one is 18 months older and the other is 2 years younger; so, I am a middle child.
Since we didn’t go to Catholic school my brothers and I went to CCD at our parish, Emmanuel, in downtown Dayton. I think we were taught pretty well; my mom taught the third grade CCD class, and if you ask her today who her worst student was in class she will tell you it was me. The son that is studying to be a priest was the worst student she has had in her 15 years of teaching. I remember one time getting up while she was teaching and turning off the lights in the class room and I remember another time I was yelling really loud; I acted really badly, but somehow God got through me.
As I got a little older, I became an altar server and, though I think I had thoughts of becoming a priest before, our pastor always asked us to think about the possibility. I listened to him mention it over and over again for years, but I don’t remember feeling like I was supposed to be a priest during all that time. That thought didn’t come until much later.
The summer after I graduated from high school, I had the opportunity to go to Rome with my High School Latin class; it was an awesome trip! I think it was here that I really fell in love with Jesus Christ and His Church, seeing all of the beauty in the Church really struck me deeply. So when I got back I told my mom that I was thinking about being a priest, but I was going to the University of Dayton in the fall which was only a few months away. She gave me some good advice and told me to be patient and keep praying to see what God wanted me to do in my life (I don’t think she really thought that I would go to the seminary).
When I got to college, the priesthood got pushed to the very back of my mind, but God has a way of bugging people, some might even say annoying them. I just couldn’t keep that thought in the back, it kept popping up, so I kept praying and eventually I met with the Vocation Director, he’s in charge of getting new guys to be priests. After the meeting I thought I would finish college at UD and get back to him afterward, but God had other ideas.
I told some of my friends that after college I was going to go to the seminary. They started joking with me because I was studying Mechanical Engineering and that would be pretty useless if I was going to be a priest. My friends kind of told me that I was wasting my time studying Engineering, so I decided to go to the seminary and jump in feet first. I left UD after one year and entered the college seminary; the Vocation Director decided that I would finish up college in Indianapolis before going down to Cincinnati, which is where I am now. I am now in my third year at a seminary.
There are some difficult times, but overall I have really enjoyed all of the different aspects of seminary life: community life, the classes, learning how to minister to people, and deepening the relationship with Christ. And ultimately that relationship with Christ is what it’s all about! Going to the seminary or looking into a religious order is always worth it; if we think God is calling, it’s always best to give everything to Him and follow Him, even if it seems radical.
Often the grand beauty of many Catholic Churches is criticized as being “over-the-top” and “unnecessary” but it is precisely this grandness and beauty that can strike someone and aid them in putting their thoughts on God. How has beauty impacted your vocation?
Click here for more Vocation Stories.
- Discerning Your Vocation: Eucharistic Adoration
- Priesthood Ordination Novena: Day 2
- Priesthood Ordination Novena: Day 1
- Novena for Deacons: Day Nine!
- Novena for Deacons: Day Eight!
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- Discerning Your Vocation: Eucharistic Adoration
- Discerning Your Vocation: Devotion to Mary
- Discerning Your Vocation: Daily Mass
- Discerning Your Vocation: Prayer
- Discerning Your Vocation: Talk to a Vocation Director
- Interview with Fr. Tim Fahey
- Interview with Fr. Alex McCullough
- Priesthood Ordination 2016 (Vocation Office version)
- College Seminary
This video features our young men who are in college seminary for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
- The Gift of the Priesthood: Parents of the Called
What do parents have to say about their sons call to the priesthood? We took the opportunity to interview a few wonderful parents to learn more about the call to become a Catholic priest and the transformation of their son.