David Gunter Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
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Home Parish: St. Paul Parish, Wellesley. Seminary: Blessed John XXIII National Seminary, Weston. College: Northeastern University/Babson College. Hobbies: Studio photography.
When was the first time you thought of priesthood?
I first thought casually about the priesthood following a pilgrimage to Medugorje in 1990. However, I did not pursue my vocation to the priesthood until attending a retreat for vocation discernment with the archdiocese in 2005.
What were major Catholic activities you participated in prior to the seminary?
I went to World Youth Day in 1993 and again in 2005.
What is your favorite Scripture passage? Why?
John 17:20-21 -- “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” This passage reminds us of our ultimate goal to be one with God. We can be confident in this prayer since it is the prayer of our Lord Jesus.
Who influenced/inspired you to priesthood? Please explain.
The most profound spiritual influence changing my life was visiting Medugorje. This led to my devotion to the rosary, daily Mass, Scripture reading, and frequent confession. After years of living the Catholic faith in this manner my heart was open to the “call” years later.
What would you say to a young man who thinks he may have a vocation?
Relax, pray, and make frequent visits to the tabernacle. Anyone solid in the daily living of the Catholic faith will be led by God.
Please tell us, what are some of the most important parts of discernment?
The spiritual journey is different for everyone. However, one should have a sense of peace on the path they are following. John 14:17 -- “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
What activities would you recommend in order to foster a culture of vocations?
The Eucharist is everything. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament fosters a genuine Catholic culture which in turn will generate vocations.
What influence (if any) has Pope John Paul II had on your vocation?
Pope John Paul II remained steadfast in his faith despite the criticism of a secular world. All Catholics can be inspired by his life.
How did you come to know Jesus Christ?
My devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and daily praying the rosary had the greatest impact on coming to know our Lord Jesus.
What was your career or background before entering the seminary?
For many years I managed the cash flow for a medium-sized corporation (annual gross income about $850 million).
What signs led you to believe that God was calling you to be a priest?
My growing love for the Mass and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament were strong indications that I was called to a deeper relationship with Christ that turned out to be a priestly vocation.
Please describe the importance of prayer in your life.
Daily prayer is absolutely essential to living the Catholic faith regardless of one’s vocation.
What are some of your favorite and most important spiritual readings/books/passages?
I enjoy the writings of Frank Sheed, Alice Von Hildebrand, and I read the Catholic magazine “This Rock.”
What is your day like in the seminary?
Life in the seminary is a challenge, but it is very rewarding and a privilege to have the opportunity to study the Catholic faith.
Through the cardinal, God is calling you personally to help rebuild his Church. How must the priest respond to this mandate today?
Priests need to be an authentic witness of the Gospel in preaching and living the faith. This will be difficult since the secular world rejects truth and those that proclaim truth.
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.