Jason Pascucchi Pilot file photo/Gregory L. Tracy
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Home Parish: St. Francis of Assisi, Cambridge. Seminary: St. Charles Borromeo, Philadelphia. High School: Marian High School, Framingham North. Hobbies: Fencing, dancing, writing.
When was the first time you thought of priesthood?
Initially, around the age of reason, intrigued by the outward appearances. After that, young teenage years (other kids teased me about being Catholic, maybe becoming a priest): at the time, I reacted to it as absurdly humorous. Little did I know...
What were major Catholic activities you participated in prior to the seminary?
An individual pilgrimage to the Holy Lands (especially the Holy Sepulchre). Last year’s Boston Catholic Men’s Conference.
What is your favorite Scripture passage? Why?
Rev 19:11-16. Because I’ve found a leader I can follow, serve -- fight for, even -- without having to hold anything back (and the assurance of victory helps too...), and that there is an enemy (the “father of lies” and the “murderer from the beginning” (Jn 8:44)) against which we may “fight a good fight by having faith and a good conscience” (1 Tim:18-19).
Who influenced/inspired you to priesthood? Please explain.
Temporally, the recent election of Pope Benedict was a key moment for me: a man I respected and admired, with a great mind and deep love for the truth of the faith, for Christ, and His body, the Church. Certainly, the EWTN crew, several bloggers and priest-bloggers with a deep faith in the Church(even a few from Massachusetts). But, mostly, it was Christ Himself, the True Priest, by His total submission to the will of the Father, the Perfect Sacrifice.
What would you say to a young man who thinks he may have a vocation?
I’d give much the same advice I didn’t take when I was a relative youth: “Pray. Read the Scriptures. Go to Mass. Go to adoration.” But, I’d add one piece more: “Read the saints and doctors of the Church, especially Augustine, Aquinas, de Sales, Vianney, Therese, John of the Cross, Chrysostom, Catherine of Genoa, de Montfort. And, with their guidance, grow in pure love of God, Mary, and your brothers and sisters. Then, “Come and see.”
Please tell us, what are some of the most important parts of discernment?
Prayer. Self-honesty. Finding good models of priestly life.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
That I once flew to Argentina for a week to study the tango.
What activities would you
recommend in order to foster
a culture of vocations.
Adoration. Counter-cultural youth formation (with a focus on the saints and martyrs as heroic examples, as well as their writings). Giving the youth some training in the errors of the age (and of the past -- I think studying the heresies is one of the best ways to learn the depth of the faith, and avoid error).
What influence (if any) has Pope John Paul II had on your vocation?
His heroic life and suffering was compelling -- ultimately, the “good end” that I hope we will all make. Just like his motto, “Totus Tuus” -- he had given totally of himself.
How did you come to know Jesus Christ?
Intellectually, through the works of the saints and doctors of the Church. Spiritually, through the knowledge that I sinned (still do), and need a savior (that I couldn’t do it myself) -- that I have no good in me that was not given to me. “If you, Lord, mark our sins, Lord, who can stand? But with you is forgiveness...” (Ps130)
What were the spiritual events or activities that helped you develop and shape your personal relationship with Christ and His Church?
Liturgy of the hours. My trip to the Holy Sepulchre. Reading the saints. Lectio Divina.
What was your career or background before entering the seminary?
I rode the dot-com boom of the 90s, mostly in software development, and engineering and QA [Quality Assurance] Management. After cashing in on an IPO, I was able to travel a bit in the late 90s (England, Israel, India for 5 months).
What are some of your favorite and most important spiritual readings/books/passages?
Francis de Sales, “Introduction to the Devout Life,” St. Augustine, “Confessions,” [St. Louis] de Montfort, “True Devotion,” Aquinas, the “Summa Theologica” and “Summa contra Gentiles,” [Scripture] Jn 21, 1 Jn, 1 Cor:13, 1 Pet 5, Bar 1. I can’t say enough about the Liturgy of the Hours, especially the Psalms and office of readings.
What is your day like in the seminary?
Wake 6:10 a.m., shower/shave, meditation, morning prayer, Mass, breakfast, classes, lunch, study or another class, exercise, devotion, chatting with my brother seminarians, evening prayer, dinner, more study, more chatting/various social events, devotion, night prayer, pass out at 10:30 p.m. Do it again.
Through the cardinal, God is calling you personally to help rebuild His Church. How must the priest respond to this mandate today?
First in this and all things, he must respond with love -- for Christ, for His Church, and for each of the members of His body that he comes in contact with. He must respond with unreserved fidelity to the magisterium and obedience to the authority of the bishop. He must respond by being “shrewd as serpents and simple as doves,” for there is no question we are “like sheep in the midst of wolves” (Mt 10).
The Pilot, in cooperation with the Office of Vocations, is publishing a series of brief profiles of the men preparing for the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston. For other profiles or if you think God may be calling you to a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, visit the Vocations Office Web site at www.VocationsBoston.org.