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Growing up, I was constantly being drawn to anything adventurous. I loved books, movies, TV shows and stories about the adventures of others and I would often go traveling, hiking and camping with my family. These would lead me to daydream about the adventurous life that I hoped to have one day.
During these earlier years of my life, I just knew that I wanted to be a priest. I remember when my kindergarten teacher asked me how I knew the Hail Mary, the Our Father, and the sign of the Cross so well, my response was that “I have to know them. I’m going to be a priest.”
As I grew up a little and entered high school, I felt like I had to let go of the idea of living an adventurous life in order to live a more “reasonable” life. I also started to ignore and push away any thought that I had about the priesthood. I just wanted to keep my head down, do my work well and just get by.
This all changed around junior year when I entered into a personal relationship with Christ. Before, I had always gone to Mass on Sunday and tried to live a good, moral life but something had been missing.
I felt the Lord draw me into the silence of the chapel and as I began to sit with him more and more, I experienced a call from the Lord. The call was faint and quiet but it still awoke that childhood passion for adventure that I had put aside in pursuit of a “normal” life.
The Lord called me into a life with him. As I asked him what this life would look like, the Lord reminded me of the desire to be a priest that I had experienced for as long as I remember.
So I decided to go to the diocesan Come and See retreat. I was able to meet seminarians for the first time and see that they were just normal people too. Through prayer and the encounters with the seminarians at the retreat, I felt an invitation; an invitation to go into the unknown with Christ and to live for him and for others.
Reflecting on the past years in seminary at the House of Formation in Little Rock, I have come to see that it has truly been an adventure. Living in a community with all of the other seminarians has truly been a blessing. While the days can be monotonous, when I turn back to the Lord I am reminded about the adventure that he is calling me to. I want to thank you, and ask for your prayers as I continue on in seminary formation.
If you wish to contact Joseph Jones, please e-mail Georgina Pena in the Vocations Office or call her at (501) 664-0340. This article was published Oct. 11, 2021. Copyright Diocese of Little Rock. All rights reserved. This article may be copied or redistributed with acknowledgement and permission of the publisher.