Meet our seminarians: John Anthony D’Arpino

Home Parish: St. Charles Borromeo, Woburn. Seminary: St. John’s Seminary. High School: Boston. College High School. College: St. Anselm College. Hobbies: Reading, skiing, writing, jogging.

What were major Catholic activities you participated

in prior to the seminary?

Two of the really huge moments in my growth as a Catholic man were the Kairos retreat I went on at BC High when I was a junior and the vocations retreat I attended at St. John’s Seminary my senior year of college. The Kairos retreat was a great help in my coming to know Christ.

What is your favorite Scripture passage? Why?

John 6:51-72. This passage gives such beautiful insight into the victimhood of Christ and the love He has for each one of us. It truly captures the self-giving of Christ and is such a strong and powerful testimony to the Real Presence.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I’ve gone skydiving.

What influence did Pope John Paul II have in your life?

“Duc in altum,” -- “Put out into the deep,” (Lk 5,4). These words of Christ that the Holy Father used are so powerful a call to forgo the pleasures and trappings of this world and to set sail toward what truly matters. These words, and the Holy Father’s example of living them out daily, inspired me to consider priesthood.

Through the cardinal, God is calling you personally

to help rebuild His Church. How must the priest respond to this mandate today?

The priest must be faithful to the Church and Christ and to the portion of Christ’s flock he is entrusted with. He must be present as a good father and teacher to them. He must be zealous for the salvation of souls. He must make prayer a fundamental part of his daily life, not something that is squeezed in.

Please describe the importance of prayer in your life.

Prayer is absolutely fundamental to my daily life. We are called to be friends of Christ and it is impossible to be a friend to someone without regularly talking and listening to them. Since Christ is not just any friend but indeed our Lord and teacher, then we must spend time listening.

Who influenced you/inspired you to priesthood?

The strong examples of happy, holy, faithful, and orthodox priests have been the strongest influence in my discernment and aspiration to the priesthood. A few of note were Father Ed Malone, my pastor at St. Pius in Lynn, Father Perard Monestime, SJ, my high school theology teacher and Father Augustine Kelly, the dean of the college and master of ceremonies at St. Anselm’s.

What are some of the most important parts of discernment?

I’d say the most important part of discernment is listening. Listening to Christ in your personal prayer life, in public liturgies, in your conversations with your spiritual director, seminary faculty, and brother seminarians. It is only in silence that we can hear Christ speaking to us.

The Pilot, in cooperation with the Office of Vocations, is publishing a series of brief profiles of the men preparing for the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston. For other profiles or if you think God may be calling you to a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, visit the Vocations Office Web site at