How discerning the priesthood has helped me live life more fully

By Jack Figge, 11 July 2024
Image: mantinov/

My friends jokingly call me the lay vocation director.

It may have something to do with the fact that seven of my closest friends already have entered seminary, and I am only a sophomore in college.

While that is a beautiful thing, and I am so proud and grateful for each of those men, it has at times made my own discernment more difficult. Often, I find myself wondering: If my seven closest friends are studying to be priests, is it a sign that I need to join them, too?

The question first occurred to me back in 7th grade, when I was labeled the “Catholic kid” by my classmates. I received the label because I kept talking to people about Jesus, was outspoken about my love for religion class and expressed how much I enjoyed attending Mass. It is not the sort of nickname one seeks out, but I kind of enjoyed it.

However, it also meant that it felt like nearly everybody began asking me if I was going to be a priest. At first, without much thought, I said yes. I was close with our parish priests, I had considered it, and I thought it could be a cool life.

Learn more about discerning a vocation to the permanent diaconate on our Diocesan website.  

To continue reading this article, click here.

Jack Figge is a rising junior at Benedictine College, where he studies political science and theology. In addition to his studies, Jack has written for a variety of Catholic publications including the National Catholic Register, Our Sunday Visitor and The Pillar.

With thanks to America, where this article originally appeared.

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