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Meet our seminarians: Brandon Belinsky

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Posted: 5/18/2007

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Brandon Belinsky Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy


Home Parish: St. Catherine of Alexandria, Westford. Seminary: St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia. High School: Westford Academy. Hobbies: Movies, games, books, blogging, billiards.

When was the first time you thought of priesthood? When I was 11 my parish priest asked me if I would consider the priesthood.

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

World Youth Day: Rome, Toronto, Food for the Poor Walk, various parish plays and bazaars.

What is your favorite Scripture

passage? Why?

Matthew 16:16 This is the primary and most profound profession of faith and it is upon this profession which Christ builds everything.

Who influenced/inspired you to priesthood? Please explain.

Father Bill Sullivan was my mentor as well as Father Roger Fomosi of the Archdiocese of Toronto.

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

Trust your instincts and give it a try. If that’s not what God wants for you, you’ll know.

Is seminary formation what you thought it would be? How is it similar and different from your expectations?

Absolutely not! Hah! I thought that seminary formation would be always quiet and solemn and people walking around in black being quiet and prayerful 24/7. I was very intimidated. It’s not quite like that. You do have your times of prayer and quiet, but it’s well salted with vibrant activities and a whole lot of laughter.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

People might be surprised to know that I like some of your basic normal things such as stand-up comedy, country music, golf and going out with friends. I was (still am!) a drummer and a big computer nerd.

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

Definitely local (parish) retreats for younger men. We need to begin vocation formation in middle school and primary school. I think we need to develop the idea of sanctity, vocation and humility during earlier stages of development.

Did anyone invite you to consider priesthood? Please explain.

Yes. My pastor, Father Bill always encouraged me to explore the possibilities and to be open to what God was calling me to.

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

The most important event in my life that strengthened my relationship with the Most Holy Trinity was the time of personal retreat I spent at Madonna House Apostolate in Ontario, Canada. I was there for more than half a year and the spirituality of the place and the “duty-of-the-moment” culture wore off on me.

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

One of my favorite authors is Servant of God Catherine de Hueck Doherty. She’s written books such as “Bogoroditza,” “Dear Father,” “Dear Seminarian,” and “Poustinia.” She’s a major voice on the idea of inner peace and Konosis, or self-emptying.

Through the cardinal, God is

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

Luke in 5:11 says that Simon, James and John left everything to follow Christ. We are called to drop everything and go. When I was younger my parents always used to say “No! Not when you’re ready, now!” This is how we must look at this and go out to the flock and bring them home. In my opinion, we have to, as ministers and priests and future priests, lock arms, support one another and prevent each other from drowning in the culture of death, hate and hedonism.

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

The priest, a poor and humble man, is the local witness to the Gospel--the Good News of Jesus Christ--for the world. He is called to live among the people and be one of them and be an example to others with total dedication.

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.