Dcn. Mark Martin II

St Anthony Padua
11 N Broad St
Hillsdale, MI 49242
United States

For many years I was certain that I would become a doctor, it had been my dream since childhood.  However, near the end of high school, I converted to Catholicism, and this really changed things for me.  I started to notice a growing desire in my heart to become a priest, which just wouldn’t go away, in spite of how hard I tried to ignore it.  After some conversations with priests in my home parish of St. Anthony of Padua in Hillsdale, Michigan, I realized that the insistence of the calling God placed in my heart meant something.  I needed to start looking at the priesthood.  Now I find myself here at seminary, following the footsteps of countless other men who asked the same question I am: “Does God want me to be a priest?”

One of the things that kept me from moving forward to seminary and drawing nearer to God was this image I had that following God meant surrendering real happiness.  I have found that this is a lie!  As I have drawn nearer to God and surrendered more and more to Him, God has filled me with much greater joy than I could have possibly imagined!  I now see the truth in those words that Jesus spoke: “I came so that you might have joy and have it in abundance.”  I still don’t know whether or not I will end up being a priest, but all that truly matters is being in pursuit of the Kingdom and I thank God for that gift.