Mark Murphy Pilot photo/Courtesy Vocations Office
Home Parish: St. Malachy, Burlington.Seminary: St. Johnís Seminary.High School: Burlington High School.
What would you say to a high school student who feels he may have a vocation?
I would tell a high school student who feels that he may have a vocation to pray about it. I would tell him to ask the Holy Spirit to guide him in discerning Godís call in his life. I would also tell him to know that although it may be hard to hear the Lordís call and have the courage to respond to it, once you do respond the Lord will give you all the grace you need to follow him.
Can you give some practical suggestions which will help a high school student to discern a call to priesthood?
I would suggest that a high school student talk to his parish priest about his interest in the priesthood. I would also tell him to contact one of the vocation directors about his interest. These priests will be able to guide and help him in his discernment of the priesthood.
What first awakened in you the realization that God might be calling you to the priesthood?
I first began to think about the priesthood when I was a sophomore in high school. On the day I was confirmed, the bishop asked all of the male confirmation candidates to think about the priesthood. Right after the bishop said this, it was like a light switch went on in my head. I had never thought about the priesthood prior to the bishop saying this, but I suddenly felt like it might be something the Lord is calling me to.
What were the initial excitements and hopes as you began to think more deeply about your vocation?
My initial excitements and hopes as I began to think more deeply about my vocation was basically the awesome possibility that God might be calling me to do something extraordinary. It was exciting to think that God might be calling me to do what a priest does: change bread and wine and turn it into the body and blood of Christ at Mass.
Anything you want to add?
I would just add that it is extremely important for all Catholics, and especially priests, to continually invite young men to consider the priesthood. Having finished my third year in the seminary and having met seminarians from all over the country, I have found that most vocations come from someone inviting a young man to consider the priesthood. This invitation could be the spark that helps a young man come see that the Lord might be calling him.
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 www.VocationsBoston.org.