I am happy you stopped by this site. As I grew up, I attended St. Theresa Church in Earlville, IL. I witnessed a lot of styles of priesthood since it was one of those parishes where priests came and went about every two to three years.
I went to Culver-Stockton College to become an elementary and Special Education Teacher; St. Joseph is the Catholic Church in town. Three priests were pastors of the parish while I was there, showing me more styles and ways of being a priest. While I was growing up and attending college, people asked me to consider priesthood, but I had other goals and plans. Finally, that inner voice within (conscience; Holy Spirit) got loud enough, I talked to a vocation director about entering seminary.
While in Seminary a Bishop told us that if we thought we’d make a good husband and dad we should stay in seminary for a year. Good priests have the same skills and talents as a good husband and dad have; I wanted to be a good husband and dad. Another priest told me to think about the priest I would be if God were calling me to be a priest since God calls the person to priesthood. This made sense since I saw a lot of priests fulfilling priesthood in very different ways as I grew up; a third priest told me to stop telling God what I wanted, what my plans were (He already knew what they were) and start asking Him what He wanted me to do. That was hardest, but I asked for the humility and then began to ask what He wanted of me. Turns out, years later: the same things I wanted, but in a more complete more beautiful way.
I was ordained June 3, 2000. I have been chaplain at a maximum security prison, associate pastor in two parishes, pastor of two parishes, and vocation director. I am currently the pastor of St. Andrew Church in Holts Summit. I have been blessed to also serve as interim director of youth ministry and interim director of Catholic Schools. All of my assignments seem to command me to ask the same question of those I minister to: “What does God want you (and me) to do? Who does He want each of us to become?” I hope, as you visit this website you will be able to ask these questions.
Rev. Joseph Corel