When I was twenty, I experienced a profound encounter with God that changed my life. I was leading a frat-boy lifestyle and he called me to change my ways. Shortly after he called me to the priesthood. For three years, I fought the call acting like Moses, Jacob, & Jonah rather than Peter, James, & John. I finally surrendered to his will and I have never been happier. My time in seminary is coming to an end and the day I long for ever so close. I have learned a lot about Christianity & priesthood in the seminary. Even though I meet with struggles and trials every now and then, my desire to be a priest grows stronger each year. It is a gift and a privilege to be called. I long to be with God and to serve Him as His priest.
Fr. Nathan Comeaux
I began to discern a call to the priesthood during my freshman year at Seton Hall University. I encountered an organization called FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. FOCUS sends recent college graduates as missionaries to universities at the request of the university and of the bishop. These missionaries lead bible studies and group prayer. They also engage in peer-to-peer mentoring. Through my friendship with one of the missionaries, I began to develop a habit of regular prayer. Shortly thereafter, the Lord began to propose a call to the priesthood. These invitations culminated at the March for Life when a priest invited me to discern a call to priesthood in the confessional. A year and a half later, Bishop Michael Jarrell, on behalf of the Diocese of Lafayette, accepted me as a candidate for the seminary. This year will conclude my third year of formation toward the priesthood.Today, I believe that the Lord is calling me to priesthood. The seminary has helped me to discern this call through prayer, spiritual direction, and friendship. Please pray that I might continue to respond to the Lord’s revelation, and that I might be ready to follow Him wherever He may call.
I grew up in Abbeville and am a member of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church. I attended Mass each week with my family. At about the age of ten years old I told my parents that I wanted to be a priest. As I grew older and into my teenage years, I still attended Mass faithfully but my focus in life changed. I became drawn to the things of this world and not to the way to God. I went to college and then to work but never found happiness. I always attended Mass no matter where I lived and God has always been a part of my life. There was always an inner calling to my vocation that was a source of stress and tension in my life. No matter how much money I made or what position and status I achieved in business, I never found peace. The more I became involved in church activities the more at peace I felt. Finally, at forty-six God made it perfectly clear to me that it was time to choose between Him or the things of this world. I chose God. I have never been at peace like this with any decision I have ever made. I feel that God is truly calling me to serve the Diocese of Lafayette and by His grace and the blessing of Bishop Jarrell I will be ordained to the presbyterate in the summer of 2011.
Fr. David Hebert
During my senior year of high school I attended the March for Life in Washington, DC. While there, I became convinced of two things: true presence in the Eucharist and the need to support the pro-life cause. I continued going to Sunday Mass throughout my college years, and I would say a short prayer before going to bed each night. At UL I encountered the Newman Club at Our Lady of Wisdom. I became involved with mission trips, staffing retreats, and attending Mass several times a week. I thought about the priesthood from time to time as did many of the guys at Wisdom. After I completed a Masters degree in psychology, I felt a need to discern whether or not God was calling me to the priesthood or religious life, so I entered the seminary in 2004. I have since enjoyed the fraternity of seminary life and the chance to learn more about the diversity of the Church. I hope to combine my interests in religion, psychology, and teaching as a priest.
Fr. Jared G. Suire
After being ordained a permanent deacon in our diocese some 10 years ago, my wife Jackie passed away suddenly and without warning. After three months of discernment, I decided to retire from the education field as a successful high school band director and inquire about a possible vocation to the priesthood. After consulting with Bishop Jarrell, it was decided that I would attend Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin where I have been for the past three years. Upon beginning my studies, I was a bit apprehensive about returning to school after being out of college for 25 years and was feeling a bit uncomfortable until I encountered many other men around my age who were also aspiring toward the priesthood. My experiences at Sacred Heart have been indeed a struggle at times being such a great distance from home, with a son and now grandchildren in my life. But the transition was amazingly quite pleasant. The educational staff at Sacred Heart was indeed amazing and very helpful in making the transition from teacher to student a great and rewarding experience. The seminary not only focused on the academic / theological aspects of ministry, but a great amount of focus was placed on the pastoral and spiritual formation as well. All in all, it has been a tremendously rewarding experience and would recommend the school highly to prospective students. With graduation quickly approaching along with ordination on June 5th, of this year, departing Sacred Heart School of Theology will be exciting but at the same time bittersweet, having made many friends from not only the United States but from other parts of the world. Nonetheless, I very much look forward to returning home to the Lafayette Diocese to begin another chapter in my life, serving the People of God as a Roman Catholic Priest.
Fr. Kendal Faulk
After getting into trouble, the only things I could do the summer after my Freshman year of high school were go to Church, or go somewhere with my family. Lucky for me, my parish started a LIFETEEN program that summer and had events planned every night of the week. I began going as a way to get out of the house and see my friends. However, the more I went, the more people I met, the more I started listening to what was being said and I started to enjoy going. There were many college aged people and young adults all having fun bringing Christ to high school kids. Throughout high school, I stayed very active in my youth group. When I moved on to University of Louisiana (UL) for college, I stayed close to the friends I had made through my youth group and met many other people excited about their Catholic faith at Our Lady of Wisdom Catholic Church and Student Center on the UL campus.
As I got to know Fr. Chester Arceneaux at Wisdom, Msgr. Keith DeRouen at the Cathedral, where I played music, and several other priests, they along with some of my friends asked me if I had ever thought of being a priest. Until early on in college, I had not. The more I went to daily mass and made time to visit the adoration chapel, the more I felt this mysterious yearning for God. As graduation time rolled around for me at UL, I was planning to go to graduate school so that I could teach Civil Engineering courses at the college level. When it came time for me to decide which school I was going to attend, I decided that I could not go through at least four years of intense graduate school classes and research if I still felt like God might be calling me to the priesthood. I turned down my offers for graduate school and started my application for the seminary. I can truly say that this has been the best decision of my life.
Over the past year and a half, I have learned more about my Catholic faith than ever before. When I finally made the decision to apply to the seminary, I felt so free and peaceful. I would recommend to anyone discerning a priestly or religious calling to pursue it. Even if you end up realizing that God is not calling you to a religious life or the priesthood, the time you spend in formation will be some of the best time of your life.”
Patrick S. Broussard