Matthew Johll

Pre-Theology II
St. Pius X Seminary, Loras College, Dubuque, IA
Basilica of St. John, Des Moines

The desire to pursue the bride of Christ through priesthood has been one that has slowly and steadily been growing over the last couple of years. Priesthood is something that I have always respected but for many years, respectfully avoided. I have always had a desire to give of myself completely to others and for the majority of my life I assumed that I would be pursuing this desire in a vocation of marriage. As I neared college I read, "To Save a Thousand Souls," to "check" the discernment box but this was done at simply an intellectual level which was lacking an openness to counsel, and based on a shallow prayer life/relationship with God.

After graduating and working in the engineering industry for a few years, diving into young adult/parish ministry, and embracing life with family in the area, a restlessness began to grow in my heart that would not back down - even amidst various romantic relationships. Gradually, I began to discuss the idea of priesthood more seriously with close friends and with my spiritual director. As conversations progressed and I took these thoughts to prayer I realized how great my attraction to the life of priesthood had become, and so I contacted Fr. Ross to begin the application process.

At each step, I have felt this desire grow and so I am excited to see where seminary leads. Please pray for me and my fellow seminarians as we go through formation and strive to unite our lives to that of Christ. I pray that all who read about my short but winding journey (thus far) may be encouraged to deepen their prayer life through scripture and the sacraments. To echo many who have come before me: "I will see you in the Eucharist!"