On Wednesday he started the first day of classes in art history, music, and Spanish at Century College. He’s a seminarian at the University of St. Thomas, sent here by the Lansing diocese.
He felt like he was called to the priesthood since about 4th grade in public school. “I was about to get expelled; I was the class clown and I was raising hell,” he said. Thus began his education in parochial school. “I grew in my faith, buckled down. In high school is where I really felt the call.”
He knows what you might be thinking.
“If I’m walking down the street and someone asks me what I want to be and I answer, ‘a priest,’ what is the number-one thing they say? A child molester or someone that’s going to manipulate people. Fifty years ago it wasn’t like that. Morality and the family and celibacy, people mock it. Living in a marital relationship faithfully, those things are less and less important to our society,” he said.
He acknowledges, though, that perhaps the recession-proof nature of the priesthood has some cracks. Many churches are empty, or struggling to survive. “The economic dimension of the church, you see at once the church controlled art and politics and a lot of the wealth and it’s because people entrusted what the church stood for, and still stands for but has been manipulated in the eyes of the public.”
But he says the priesthood is not a career, “it’s something you are.”