Hello, my name is George Creel and I am a seminarian for the diocese of Camden. I was born in Voorhees NJ and grew up in Williamstown NJ. I am the son of George and Karen Creel and brother to Kaitlyn and Sarah Creel. I am currently in my third year of college at Saint Andrews Hall at Seton Hall University.
Growing up I was raised Catholic, but the faith was not always the center of my family’s life. When I was in first grade my parents went through a brief but hard separation for a year and by the grace of God they were able to reconcile and get back together. It was then that God became more prevalent in their lives which they then made it important in myself and sisters lives.
We have been parishioners at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Williamstown all my life. It wasn’t until my parents got back together that we started to attend mass every Sunday and began getting involved in parish ministries. Myself and two sisters later on began going to the youth group at Our Lady of Peace ran by Kari Janisse and our Pastor Fr. Cadmus Mazzerella.
As the years went on, I grew stronger in my faith and grew closer to Fr. Mazz. I also took on more of a leadership role in our youth groups by being on retreat teams and our Core Team. It was here that I felt my vocation start to grow. Watching and learning from Fr. Mazz and the other priests at our parish like Fr. Chris Bakey, Fr. Kevin Mohan, and Fr. Chris Markellos, I began to see the beauty of the priesthood and all the work they do for the church and it’s people.
One of my favorite Saints is St. John Bosco. I love St John Bosco for his mission of helping the youth, especially young men, to get off the streets, learn the faith, and make a better life for themselves. This is exactly what I saw in Fr. Mazz and I wanted to be a priest just like him.
When I got into high school I put the whole idea of the priesthood aside and focused on what I thought was right for me and that was law enforcement. I joined the Law and Justice academy at Williamstown High School and thought for sure I was going to be a New Jersey State Trooper. When Junior year rolled around, the priesthood came back into my mind and I knew I couldn’t fight it anymore. I began to talk more seriously with my pastor about it and finally decided I need to follow my heart and enter seminary.
I reached out to Father Romano, the vocations director and started to go to the monthly discernment meetings. Here I found more peace about this call I felt and after I graduated from Williamstown High in 2016 I entered right into seminary that following Fall. It was through a lot of prayer and talking with my Pastor and other priests that I was able to make the decision to enter and it was probably the best decision of my life.
I have grown so much in my faith since I’ve entered and have joined a brotherhood that I will have forever. I encourage anyone who is feeling a call to the priesthood to reach out to your pastor or priest you can talk to, get involved in your parish ministries and stay close to the saints. Remember to always take it one day at a time and to give your whole heart to God, he will not lead you astray. Please continue to pray for an increase in vocations to the Camden diocese and around the world, God bless.