|Parish||Our Lady of Guadalupe, Lindenwold|
|High School||Bishop Eustace Preparatory School|
|Year in Seminary||1st Theology|
|Seminary||Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, NY|
|Journey of Faith Blog Posts||Stephen Robbins|
What were you doing prior to entering the seminary? I graduated from Bishop Eustace Prep in 2014 and I completed my freshman year at Drexel University, where I studied Secondary Education and History. In the summers I worked as a landscaper/maintenance man at Holy Angels Parish in Woodbury.
What influenced your decision to enter the seminary? There were several people and experiences that influenced my decision, so it is very difficult to pinpoint a single one. Throughout my life while I was growing up I was told many times that I would make a good priest, but I never really thought anything of it. My pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Father Joe Cappella, served as a tremendous role model. Seeing the beautiful way in which he celebrated the Eucharist and interacted with parishioners made me think that I may also be called to the priesthood. Our diocesan vocation director, Father Romano, was also a huge help in my discernment process. Another huge factor was the monthly discernment groups that our diocese offers. Talking about the priesthood with a group of my peers made the decision a lot less intimidating.
Advice to other young men considering the priesthood: One piece of advice that I would give is to never let the fear of other people’s reactions hold you back. When I was discerning, one of my greatest fears was what my friends would think. I thought that if I entered, they would all think I’m weird and wouldn’t want to spend time with me anymore. However, since I made the decision to enter, I have received nothing but support from all my friends and family. So if you believe that God may be calling you to the priesthood, do not be afraid of what others will think. If it is truly God’s plan, everything will turn out the way it’s supposed to.