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Seminarian Spotlight: Patrick Fiorillo

Seminarian Patrick Fiorillo Pilot photo/George Martell

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Home Town and State -- Franklin, Mass.

High School -- St. John's, Shrewsbury

Seminary Attending --St. John's Seminary, Third Theology

What are some of the factors that led to your decision to enter the seminary and discern the question of a vocation to the priesthood?

I was deeply involved with campus ministry during college, and within that I formed a close group of friends who continually challenged me to deepen my relationship with Christ and discern his will for me. As I took on more leadership roles in campus ministry, I began to sense that no amount of involvement there or in a parish would satisfy my desire to help bring others to Christ; I wanted to invest my whole self in it and thus give myself totally to Christ and his Church.

Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?

I had two mentors during college who formed me in the faith and offered spiritual guidance. They helped me to grow in my understanding of God's will for me and made me mindful of the fact that, like everyone, God has a specific plan for my life. I also had several friends who entered seminary. This gave me a unique, inside view into the discernment process and seminary life. I instinctively thought to myself, "I could do that!"

What would you say is the role of prayer in the life of a seminarian and what effect does it have on one's ability to see God's call?

Prayer is essential to the life of a seminarian because without it, our vocation runs the risk of losing its interior dimension and becoming purely external. A deep prayer life gives a seminarian the freedom to give a complete and total "yes" to God.

What advice would you give to a man who thinking about his vocation and is considering that God may be calling him to be a priest?

Make a commitment to daily prayer such as doing a holy hour and spiritual reading, and find a spiritual director whom you can meet with every few weeks.

What do you like most about being a seminarian?

I most enjoy the fraternity among my fellow seminarians. Everyone shares a genuine desire to support and help one another grow in their vocational discernment.

What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?

The greatest challenge I believe is giving one's entire will over to God without reservation or expectation of a particular outcome, and allowing him to work purely on his own terms.

What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?

With music having been such a big part of my life, I enjoy almost anything music-related: playing jazz and rock drums, playing guitar, attending the Boston Symphony Orchestra and other concerts (Boston is one of the best cities for live music!), and directing choirs for local liturgical events.

What are some of your favorite authors/books/movies?

As far as theology and spiritual reading go, Pope Benedict XVI is one of my favorite writers. For movies, I can always watch anything with Clint Eastwood.

What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the archdiocese of Boston?

Promote fraternity among altar boys and encourage them in developing a deeper appreciation of the distinct and sacred role of the priest at the altar.

Seminarian Spotlight is a collaborative effort between The Pilot and the Archdiocese of Boston's Office for Vocations to introduce readers to the men preparing for priesthood in the archdiocese. More seminarian profiles and information on discerning a vocation are available at www.VocationsBoston.org.

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