“By pursuing the spiritual fatherhood of the priesthood, I hope to guide souls to Heaven through a life of service and administration of the Sacraments.”
Meet the rest of my class
My name is Jake Smith. I am called to serve Christ and His Church as a priest with the Archdiocese of Denver. This is my story.
I was blessed to be born into a Catholic family. We lived a good but humble life, as my parents made many sacrifices to make a Catholic education possible for me and my 11 siblings. Throughout those formative years, I cultivated an interest in math and science and set my sights on becoming a medical doctor. I wanted to help people in need, and medicine seemed a wonderful career opportunity to do just that.
In my early teens, I felt a force deep within drawing me towards the priesthood. I kept these thoughts to myself, but started to experience moments of my soul “catching fire” during the Mass at the words of consecration. These moments continued for a few years, and as graduation from high school was looming, God seemed to be asking me to make a choice: pursue the Catholic priesthood, or continue advancing towards my goal of becoming a doctor.
I attended a Catholic university and throughout my undergraduate studies, I regularly received the sacraments and made lifelong friends through the Catholic Student Organization. God continued to call, and the priesthood was an inescapable theme. In four short years, a graduation was once more approaching and again, I felt God asking me to make a choice.
I began to keep God at “arm’s length,” and year by year, my academic achievements and honors grew as my personal faith life weakened. My spiritual life received a huge blow when the coronavirus pandemic began to spread throughout the U.S. and the Archdiocese gave a dispensation that lifted the obligation to attend Mass.
One night, while in my third year of medical school, I was trying to fall asleep when suddenly the thought came that maybe I should really think about being a priest. I almost laughed aloud. It had been nearly six years since I had defiantly plugged my ears to God’s voice. The Holy Spirit led me to make a good confession, and I decided to renew my relationship with God.
A few months later, I was praying in Adoration and asked the Lord for a nudge to let me know that I was on the right path. Just then, a young family walked into the chapel to pray, and the Lord spoke to my heart in a powerful and piercing way: “Be my priest and a minister of the sacraments for that family and for others.”
I reflected on the comparison of being a doctor of the body and a doctor of the soul. Even in helping hundreds of people with their physical health, the years impacted are finite. In leading even one soul to God, the results are eternal. Through the Sacraments, in particular Confession and Last Rites, the soul gets prepared for eternity. I responded to this invitation by placing everything I had into God’s hands.
I am blessed to say that God has led me to discern the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Denver. The Archdiocese is my home, and the priests there inspire me to emulate them in administering the sacraments. I look forward to my vocation, and to seeing the lives God will touch though it.
Please pray for me and for my fellow Labouré classmates on our vocation journeys.
Feel free to reach out with any questions you might have at: Jake@rescuevocations.org.
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