I grew up in Southern Ohio and all of my life I knew what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a veterinarian. So, when I went to high school and took college prep classes so I would be able to enter the university.
One Sunday when I was a senior in high school, I was attending Sunday Mass. I was a bit distracted, so when the bells rang at the consecration, I looked up at the altar and saw the priest holding up the consecrated host … and the thought went through my mind, “What would it be like if you were the priest?” This thought disturbed me because I did not want to be a priest. So, I tried to banish this thought from my mind. But the more I tried not to think about it, the more it came to my mind.
I decided I was going to go to the church and ask God for a sign. “What was I supposed to do?” I went to the church, determined to stay there for hours if I needed to. I entered the church, and on a small table at the back of the church was a little piece of paper. I picked it up. It was a holy card with a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the words from Matthew 16:24. “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” I took this as a sign that God wanted me to be a priest.
I went to the seminary, and always felt that God was leading me to the priesthood.
I love being a priest and am so grateful to God that He wanted me as His priest. All my life I had asked the wrong question. I always asked, “What do I want to be?” I should have been asking, “What does God want me to be?”