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Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
I am very blessed to come from such a great family. Growing up, my parents made it a priority to attend Mass as often as possible. Every night we would pray together as a family. Going to a Catholic school all the way from K-12 was a huge blessing and a big part in my faith life.
The many great teachers of Christ the King and Catholic High had a big influence on me, as well as my pastor Msgr. Francis Malone. Having a 24/7 adoration chapel at my home parish was also a great blessing for me. Through these experiences and the many great people I met, I was able to develop a great relationship with God from an early age and able to grow in it as I grew up.
I first felt the call to the priesthood when I was in the fifth grade. My older brother, Father Stephen Elser, joined the seminary when I was in the third grade and at that time I didn’t really understand what the seminary was. In fifth grade I started to have a better understanding of the seminary and I then started to think about becoming a priest.
Almost every time I went to Mass, I would think about me being the priest and how cool that would be one day. As I grew up, I continued to think about the priesthood very often. When I was in high school I started to really pray about it. I also started talking to my older brother about the priesthood much more and was very excited to hear him talk about it.
Senior year of high school was very tough for me. I wasn’t sure if I should play college football or go straight to the seminary out of high school. Through much prayer and guidance from priests, I felt the Lord was telling me to go and try out football first. So after I graduated high school in 2018, I decided that I would attend the University of Arkansas and walk-on the football team.
That experience was one I always will remember, and I am grateful to the coaches for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the team. When I left the University of Arkansas at the end of the 2019 spring semester, I knew it was time to enter the seminary. I was ready and very excited to finally start this journey.
After making the decision to join the seminary, I felt so much peace and joy. The amount of support I have received from family and friends is overwhelming. All your prayers and support for vocations are definitely working. Thank you for your continued prayers and support and know of my daily prayers for you and your family!
If you wish to contact Christopher Elser, please e-mail Miriam Gallaher in the Vocations Office or call her at (501) 664-0340. This article was published Sept. 17, 2019. Copyright Diocese of Little Rock. All rights reserved. This article may be copied or redistributed with acknowledgement and permission of the publisher.