Meet our seminarians: Guy Sciacca

Guy Sciacca Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

Seminary: Blessed John XXIII National Seminary, Weston. College: Boston State College, North Adams State College. Hobbies: Swimming

What were major Catholic activities you participated in prior to the Seminary?

I participated in directed retreats at Eastern Point Retreat Center. I also attended the Catholic Men’s Conference held in Boston in 2006.

What is your favorite Scripture passage?

My favorite Scripture passage is: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light” (Mt 11:28-30).

Who influenced/inspired you to priesthood? Please explain.

I believe that my vocation began as a young boy when my mother taught me to pray the Rosary and I would accompany her to Mass. Several parish priests in my life played a significant role in fostering my vocation. I have a very deep devotion to Our Lady. Ultimately, I believe that it was she who gently led me to where I would be of greatest service to her Son -- the priesthood.

What would you say to a young man who thinks he may have a vocation?

Don’t wait. A vocation is a precious gift from the Lord. It is a privilege and an honor which should not go by the wayside.

Please tell us, what are some of the most important parts of discernment?

A deep spiritual life. A burning desire to serve the Lord. A steadfast committment to follow Jesus wherever he may lead us. A solid belief in the teachings of the Church. Spiritual direction with someone in whom you have complete trust and confidence is invaluable in the discernment process. An openness to the stirrings of the Holy Spirit within us, is, I think, the most important part of discernment.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I think some people might be surprised to know that I am somewhat of a traditionalist in my thinking.

What activities would you recommend in order to foster a culture of vocations.

I would recommend participation in Bible study groups. I would recommend vocation fairs sponsored by the Vocations Office for young and older men. A vocation can come at any age. It is not limited only to high school or college students. I would recommend more outreach on the part of seminarians to young and older possible vocations. It is one thing to read about seminary life and a vocation. It is quite another to actually hear what it is like from someone who is experiencing it.

Did anyone invite you to consider priesthood? Please explain.

My sister-in-law wanted to know why I left the seminary years ago. I said it just wasn’t the Lord’s will for me. Then other people told me that they thought I would make a good priest. The desire was always in me but these people stirred that desire.

What influence (if any) has Pope John Paul II had on your vocation?

When I was discerning my vocation, this time, I prayed daily to Pope John Paul II that my vocation would be confirmed in some way. He answered my prayer in some very concrete and some very subtle ways. Now, I continue to pray to Pope John Paul II every day that my vocation will be strengthened.

How did you come to know Jesus Christ?

I came to know Jesus Christ by realizing the futility of life without him in it. I came to know that I could come to Jesus with my problems, concerns, and even my anger and frustration and he would always accept me, where I was at that time. I credit this in large part to participation in the 19th Annotation Retreat, held at St. John’s Seminary.

What were the spiritual events or activities that helped you develop and shape your personal relationship with Christ and his Church?

Participation in the 19th Annotation Retreat; Spiritual direction; regular attendance at Mass (daily, if possible); regular reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation; regular attendance at adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, whenever possible.

What was your career or background before entering the seminary?

Before entering the seminary, I was a financial administrator at Harvard University for 16 1/2 years.

Please describe the importance of prayer in your life?

Prayer is the center of my life. If I do not pray then I don’t consider my day to be complete. It is important for me to begin my day by getting on my knees and asking the Lord for the grace for what I may need for the day. Throughout the day, I call on the Lord often, when daily life, seems to overwhelm me and I am brought back to what is really important. In the evening at the seminary, I stop whatever I am doing at 8:30 p.m. and spend a half-hour in the chapel with the Lord. This is the time when I do not pray in the sense that I ask for anything. This is the time when I just want to be with the Lord, quietly, and let him speak to me.

What are some of your favorite and most important spiritual readings/books/passages?

The Psalms, especially Psalm 131. My favorite books are: ‘‘The Confessions,’’ ‘‘The Dark Night of the Soul;’’ ‘‘The Interior Castle;’’ ‘‘The City of God;’’ ‘‘Into Abba’s Arms.’’ My favorite passage comes from ‘‘The Confessions of Saint Augustine’’ -- “Let me know myself, Lord, and I shall know thee.”

What is your day like in the seminary?

My day is full. Our schedule is set around prayer. The Liturgy of the Hours is said in common, morning and evening. Mass is celebrated every morning except on Monday, when it is celebrated at 5 p.m. We have classes every day except Thursdays and Sundays. Afternoons and evenings are usually free for study.

Through the cardinal, God is calling you personally to help rebuild his Church. How must the priest respond to this mandate today?

The priest should respond to this mandate in a spirit of humility. The priest must be willing to respond with confidence and faith to whatever the cardinal may ask -- for it is to greater honor and glory of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

How does the priest best follow in the footsteps of the apostles?

The priest best follows in the footsteps of the apostles by being a man of faith, courage, and integrity. He must be a man who is unafraid to stand up for the values, ideals, and principles which are sent to us by the teaching office of the Church.

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

Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Stanford University to remove saint's name from some properties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- California's Stanford University will strip the name of 18th-century Franciscan friar, St. Junipero Serra, from some of its properties ...

Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. ...

Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

Vatican publishes list of synod participants, including papal nominees

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To the list of members of the Synod of Bishops elected by national bishops' conferences, Pope Francis added cardinals from 14 countries, ...

Addicts and their loved ones talk about life with opioid addiction

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) -- It was a Saturday night, and Billy was eating pizza and watching a sporting event in the basement bedroom of his residence, a ...

Signers of letter hope Vatican meeting will bring needed steps on crisis

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Signers of an open letter from Catholic women to Pope Francis urging "truth" and "transparency" on the growing sex abuse crisis expressed ...

Community 'overwhelmed and shell-shocked' after gas explosions, says pastor

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Down to earth: Vatican brings together world's meteorite curators

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Rocks, mineral debris and even dust from space are kept in special collections, museums and laboratories all over the ...

Algerian martyrs to be beatified in Algeria Dec. 8

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The beatification of 19 martyrs of Algeria, including the seven Trappist monks of Tibhirine, will be celebrated Dec. 8 in Oran, ...

'Anything but a picnic' - Cardinal Dolan on the Church's summer of scandal

New York City, N.Y., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Cardinal Timothy Dolan has spoken about how the extended sexual abuse scandals facing the Church have taken a ...

Restoring and reimagining: Transformation at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross

BOSTON -- Considered by many to be the heart of the Archdiocese of Boston, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is the largest Catholic church in New England, ...

Archdiocese says Cardinal O'Malley will personally review all abuse letters

BRAINTREE (CAN) -- The Archdiocese of Boston has announced changes to the way it will process and respond to letters addressed to Cardinal Séan P. ...

CM receives $2.5M grant from Yawkey Foundations

West Roxbury -- Catholic Memorial, a college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7 to 12, announced Sept. 5 that they have received a $2.5 million grant ...

Father Christian Ohazulume removed from ministry

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese announced on Sept. 11 that it had removed a priest from ministry after receiving an allegation that he sexually abused a ...

From Cardinal Seán's blog

This week I am in transit to Rome in anticipation of the next meeting of the C9 Council of Cardinals. So, I have asked Vivian Soper to share some reflections ...

Kavanaugh's birth control comments spur controversy -- What did he say?

Washington D.C. (CNA) -- Opponents of Judge Brett Kavanaugh have suggested that a reference to birth control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs" during ...

Missouri to enforce abortion regulations in wake of appeals court ruling

Jefferson City, Mo. (CNA) -- Missouri's health department announced Monday that it will immediately being enforcing state laws regulating abortion clinics ...

Book tells about behind-the-scenes search for St. Peter's bones

HOUSTON (CNS) -- Two Houston men shared a journey through centuries of history and a decades-long archaeological dig under the Vatican to unveil a story ...

Update way priests are chosen, accompanied, pope tells new bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The best way to help the Catholic Church, Pope Francis told new bishops, is not by pointing fingers and creating scapegoats, but ...

Vatican confirms ongoing Sistine Chapel Choir finance inquiry

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican confirmed an ongoing investigation into financial irregularities involving the directors of the Sistine Chapel Choir. ...

After meeting pope, cardinal says he's hopeful about addressing crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston struck a determinedly hopeful tone after his long-awaited meeting with Pope Francis ...

DA clears Indiana bishop of misconduct, says claim has harmed prelate

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CNS) -- The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend welcomed findings by a Pennsylvania district attorney that cleared Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades ...

Cardinal DiNardo calls meeting with pope lengthy, fruitful

Vatican City, Sep 13, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo has called a Sept. 13 meeting between Pope Francis and leaders from the Church in United ...

What do Church abuse policies mean by 'vulnerable adult?'

Denver, Colo., Sep 12, 2018 CNA.- A Vatican summit this February will gather the presidents of bishops’ conferences from around the world. While ...

'Elitist, clericalist' church allows abuse to thrive, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Sexual and physical abuse by priests and religious and the scandal of its cover-up by church authorities thrive in countries where ...

Cardinal Wuerl to ask pope to accept his resignation

Washington D.C., Sep 12, 2018 CNA.- An archdiocesan spokesman has confirmed that Cardinal Donald Wuerl will soon ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation ...

Pope accepts resignation of West Virginia bishop as inquiry into abuse claims launched

Vatican City, Sep 13, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis Thursday accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield from the pastoral government ...