Want to know more about the Priesthood?  Are you discerning your direction in life?

Join the parish’s discernment group, for teens, young men and adult men who are open to discerning what God wants for their life.  This group meets regularly to learn about how to discern, pray, and for spiritual direction and gathers for social events and friendship.  Contact Father David Sizemore.

Qualities of a Candidate for the Priesthood

Do you have the necessary qualities to be a priest?

Read these signs of a vocation to the priesthood and see if God is calling you!

  • A love for the Catholic faith
  • Generosity
  • A desire to help other people
  • A personal relationship with God
  • A Capacity and desire to learn
  • A respect for other people
  • Openness to other cultures and ethnic groups
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Good social skills
  • The ability to enjoy one’s own company and a variety of friendships
  • The courage to take risks
  • A healthy self-image
  • The ability to state an opinion that might differ from that of others

Signs of a Call to Priesthood

  • Love of God that manifests itself in a desire to give one’s life in service to God’s People
  • Love of the Church and its sacraments and a desire to celebrate the sacraments with the community
  • Love of God’s Word and a desire to proclaim the gospel to God’s people
  • Desire to model holiness as Christ’s representative among the People of God
  • A heart that can listen to others and reach out in healing
  • A heart that can listen to others and reach out in healing
  • Generosity
  • Desire to deepen prayer and relationship with God

Reflections on the Life of a Parish Priest

Being a parish priest is awesome! I like a little change in the routine from day to day and everyday as a priest brings something new. I am definitely not a 9 to 5 type of guy. Sitting in an office all day is not my “calling,” either. I like to be out among people, interacting, and doing the work of the Lord. It’s great! Each day, in some way or another, I feel that my words and work have a purpose, make a difference, and are centered and rooted in the higher power of God. What more could I ask of God in this life?!

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I have a “job” that is meaningful, has a mission, and allows me to meet all types of people in any given day. I get to minister to a variety of folks in different stages and places in their lives. It’s great to work with wonderful groups on projects that everyone is interested in and willing to bring to fruition. I “labor in the vineyard” with a staff who loves their work and sees it as a vocation from God. WOW!!! What other kind of job could you find where your fellow employees, bosses, and those you serve EXPECT you to pray everyday? Built into the job description is the benefit of being able to take the time everyday to talk to God, get re-connected with him on a regular basis, re-focus on what is important, and offer up to Him the concerns of His people.

The experience of celebrating the Holy Mass is off the charts. And I get to offer the Mass daily! While at times, visiting hospitals, nursing homes, and the homebound can be challenging, I take away from these encounters a deep sense of faith, gratitude and healthy dose of my own mortality. I am always reminded of our need for God.

Our mothers and fathers in faith built up our communities of faith, which for many years have been feeding the souls of men and women, caring for their lives with the love of God, shepherding them through dark times and into the light, and celebrating the joys of being members of the family of God. Now it is my turn to give back to the community of faith entrusted to my care in the name of God. Even the more administrative or “bricks & mortar” aspects of being a parish priests are real opportunities to do the work of the Lord and help people carry forward with their faith and lives.

Working with the youth has been a real gift. I am the Catholic Chaplain for a local university. Meeting with the college students throughout each week is great. We gather to share our faith and a meal. College students have so many questions and often experience doubt in their faith or themselves. What a privilege to be present to them as they search for answers! To be a priest allows me to be a mediator and minister of the Word and sacraments as their searching draws them closer to the truths of God.

Working with high school youth in our youth ministry program is a blessing, too. We have a wonderful youth minister, who has a large and reliable group of adults and young adults helping us to minister to the needs of the teenagers. Working with the teens is lots of fun, always challenging, and quite rewarding.

Yet another privilege for me, as a parish priest, is collaborating with the catechists of our parish school of religion in teaching the kids about the beautiful and fundamental truths of our Catholic faith. Passing on the these truths and the great wisdom of the Church arms them with the life skills to be able to discern right from wrong, good from bad, truth from lie, and to come to know why God has created them and placed them in this world.

Being an instrument of reconciliation and healing is another very satisfying and humbling aspect of my “job” as a priest. On any given day, there are phone-calls, emails, appointments, confessions, and visitations that allow me to assist other fellow human beings with their sins, guilt, suffering, loss, emptiness, healing and restoration.

I also make regular time for me! Yep! It is true. One of things I learned in the seminary was to live a good balanced life. So time with my sisters and mom, nieces and nephews is very important. My family keeps me grounded and reminds me of who I am. Time with fellow priests, who are my best friends, is also very life-giving. We see movies, go to plays, take vacations, just hang out and catch-up. Friendships are vital, whether they are with other priests or with parish families. Exercise and the pursuit of hobbies are necessary and offer much needed distractions and time to think. I am a regular jogger and bicyclist. Making time for reading is good for the mind – both as a form of continuing education and recreation.

Well, I could go on about the life of a parish priest, but I think you are getting the picture. Every parish is different and every priest is different, too. Even so, as parish priests, we all believe that God has called us to this wonderful life. We spend our entire lives responding to that call from God and witnessing to this truth and grace.

Fr. David Sizemore

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St. John Neumann Catholic Church
9633 East State Route 37
Sunbury, OH 43074
Phone: 740.965.1358
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