Joseph Mazzone Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
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Home Parish: St. Cecilia, Boston. Seminary: Blessed John XXIII National Seminary, Weston. College:
Notre Dame University. Hobbies: Travel, reading, history and Russian novels, baseball.
When was the first time you thought about priesthood?
I first thought of the priesthood as a young child. I was very involved in my church (CYO, altar boy, working at rectory) and have been friendly with priests my whole life. I was asked several years ago if I wanted to be a priest (by my pastor). It snapped me out of my “maybe next year” attitude and after several retreats and meetings with the vocation office I applied to the seminary.
What is your favorite Scripture passage? Why?
Luke 12:22-34. It reminds me that many worries in life are self-inflicted. It helps me see that true happiness is found only in God. It’s a good passage for those days when the business, the superficiality of life can feel overwhelming. It encourages me to care for others who have very real needs and worries.
What would you say to a young man who feels
he may have a vocation?
I would encourage him to pray (obviously) about it and to talk to a priest and /or seminarian. I would encourage him to spend time at his Church, get involved, etc. to see what it is a priest does day to day. I would also recommend the discernment meetings and retreat.
What are some of the most important parts of
To take it day by day. It can be overwhelming to concentrate too much on the future, and such anxiety can kill a vocation. I have seen it happen. Most people seem to have a growing awareness of their vocation as time goes by. It is not a one-shot “call” from God; more something that He slowly reveals to us.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I’m in a book! I have two paragraphs in Dan Shaughnessy’s “Reversing the Curse” about the 2004 Red Sox. It also mentions the seminary.
How did you come to know Jesus Christ?
My greatest teachers were my parents. They nurtured my faith not only through their words but through their actions. Theirs is a “living faith.” They taught me to know Jesus by seeing His reflection in people around me, especially people society might view as misfits, or undesirable.
What were the spiritual events or activities that
helped you develop and shape your personal
relationship with Christ and His Church?
Daily Mass. I often went when I was in college. It was a particular time in my life when having a personal relationship with Christ was most important. Working with the poor in New Orleans helped me get a more mature understanding of what it was Jesus wanted me to do.
What signs led you to believe that God was calling
you to be a priest?
Whenever I seemed to be thinking about the priesthood most seriously someone would say something out of the blue that seemed to confirm those thoughts. I entered the seminary a year to the day of my dad’s death, which to me is significant. When I would pray about my vocation, God would give me a sense of peace that I was following the path He wanted.
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.