St. Thomas More Church

Vocation Story by Daniel Kravatz

Growing up, I never thought very much about becoming a priest. Hindsight being 20 20, there were many times that God was working through friends and family, pointing me towards His priesthood, but I did an excellent job of ignoring Him. Throughout junior high school and high school, my faith stayed very stagnant. I went to mass every Sunday, but that was about it. Upon graduating high school, I entered Millersville University outside of Lancaster, PA. It was here when things began to change. I became involved with the Newman Association on campus, and it was through my interaction with friends and the priest at the house that I began to learn more and more about the faith. I returned to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, grew in my devotion to Mary, especially through the Rosary, and began to spend more time in front of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I still did not think very much about the priesthood, but the seeds of my vocation were being planted at this time.

I thought I had my life planned out. I loved my major (mathematics), and I was looking to go onto graduate studies. I had even been invited to present my work at a national conference in San Jose, CA. I was dating a wonderful woman. I thought I would one day settle down, teach at a college somewhere, and raise a beautiful family.

However, God had other plans. It was the summer of my senior year of college, and I was looking at different grad schools and preparing to go out to San Jose. I took a night off to to rest and watch a baseball game. It was the eve of Pentecost. All of a sudden, this thought just came to me, that God could be calling me to be a priest. (If anyone ever needs proof that the Holy Spirit works through the Philadelphia Phillies, just point to me!) Luckily, the priest at Millersville had invited me to go on a vocation discernment retreat, and I decided that I needed to go and check out this call further.

On the retreat, everything began to make sense. I could see how God, in all the ordinary events in my life, was preparing me to be one of His priests. All the talks seemed to speak directly to me. In the time of adoration within the retreat, I had a very real sense that Jesus was calling me to follow Him in this way, to be completely conformed to Him. I realized that God and I want the same thing: my happiness. God knows what that is. I only think that I do.

Everything changed after this retreat. I know I surprised my parents when I told them I was thinking about the priesthood. I began to pray more and more in front of the Eucharist. The priest at the university introduced me to the Liturgy of the Hours. Even at the mathematics conference, which I was looking forward to attending, I found myself wanting to spend more time at the Cathedral down the street. I decided that I needed to explore this calling more, so I entered the seminary upon my graduation.

This all happened five years ago. In this time, I have grown immensely in my relationship with our Lord and in my understanding of who He wants me to be. It is such a joy to wake up every morning and to know that one day, God willing, I will be able to preside at the Eucharistic sacrifice, forgive sins in the name of Christ and His Church, and share my life with a part of Jesus' flock. It is a great source of strength knowing of all the prayers the parishioners of our diocese offer on behalf of the seminarians, and I thank you immensely for this. Please be assured of my continued prayers for you and your intentions. I look forward to working with and alongside you in my Thursday apostolate this year, as we all grow in our relationship with Jesus during this year of faith.

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