Changes Ahead

By Zachary Parker, newly accepted seminarian for the Diocese of Orlando  

Growing up as an Army child, I got used to plans changing. And as I get closer to entering the seminary this fall, the more I begin to wonder just how did I ever end up here?

Throughout my childhood I always had an affinity towards the priesthood. However, I never thought about it too much. But one day in seventh grade after Mass, I knew that I was going to follow Jesus wherever he needed me. I wish I could explain how I knew better. A line from a great poem by G.K. Chesterton comes pretty close to describing how I felt “Here ends my previous existence. Take it: It led me to you.” I just knew at that moment that nothing would or could compare to the love I was being given.

However, things usually don’t turn out the way we think. Someone had asked my parents something along the lines of “wouldn’t it be nice if your son became a priest?” And I just remember them saying “No.” When it came down to it, I was just too scared to disappoint them.

Later, after finishing school and things turning out differently than we plan, I told my parents about my calling to the priesthood, and they unexpectedly could not have been happier with idea of me being a priest. Now I’ve finished all the paperwork, the interviews, closed out my second year at Stetson and have been accepted to seminary. God willing, one day I will be a priest. I am utterly amazed how I ended up here. But I am truly happy and deeply in love with all of the changes God has blessed me with and can’t wait to see what he has next.

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