SEMINARIAN EDUCATION IS SUPPORTED BY THE CATHOLIC CHARITY FUND APPEAL

Getting to Know Your Seminarians: Mike Stabile

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Learn more about the Office of Vocations at catholicpriest.com

Get to know a little more about the men you are praying for as they continue to prepare for the priesthood.

Age: 18

Year of Study: First College

Home Parish: Holy Apostles, Cranston

Where did you grow up and go to school?
I grew up in Cranston, R.I., and just moved to Warwick this past January. For the last four years, I attended La Salle Academy where I served as a tour guide, La Salle Ambassador and member of the Boy’s Varsity Tennis Team.

What does the word “vocation” mean to you personally?
For many, the word “vocation” might spark ideas for a potential job or career. While in some respects, this is true, “vocation” for me refers more to my role in the Church — the role that God is calling me to. Most individuals are called by God to marriage, but others are called to priesthood or religious life. In God’s infinite wisdom, He calls us to the vocation that will help us to live out our call to holiness.

Favorite Hobbies and/or fun fact about yourself
Some of my hobbies include going for runs, competing on the tennis court, and playing piano both for personal enjoyment and liturgical services.

How did you discern your vocation to the priesthood?
I hadn’t considered the priesthood at all until my junior year of high school. One day my religion teacher handed me an invitation to a discernment retreat at the seminary. He told me that I was the first person he had ever given the invitation to and that he felt as though I might have a vocation to the priesthood. I accepted the invitation, attended the retreat and continued to stay involved with events sponsored by the Office of Vocations. I’ve been intensely discerning for a couple of years and look forward to starting up at the seminary in the fall.

What is something that readers may not know about what it is like to be a seminarian?
Being an incoming freshman, I’m not too familiar with the day-to-day life of a seminarian. Nonetheless, from what I’ve gathered I look forward to the fraternal aspect of the seminary. In addition to living in the same house, the seminarians pray and eat in community. As I begin formation at the seminary, I look forward to getting to know each of the guys and discussing our personal experiences within the faith.

What would you say to a young man discerning the priesthood — or maybe hasn’t even considered it at all?
I would simply suggest keeping an open mind. If you had told me my sophomore year of high school that I would be entering the seminary in two years, I wouldn’t have believed you. God’s plan for us is often revealed in unique and unexpected ways.

How do you feel we can best support seminarians?
Please pray for seminarians and for more vocations to the priesthood. Despite the physical and academic responsibilities of seminarians, the discernment process is a spiritual journey. We humbly ask for your prayers as we continue to discern God’s will for our lives, and always be assured of our prayers for the faithful of the Diocese of Providence.

What is the most surprising part about being a seminarian?
At first, I was hesitant to speak publicly about my discernment. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure if it was worth mentioning, but when I became more serious, I was pleasantly surprised by the support that I received. Parishioners, friends, classmates and priests were eager to support me in my discernment. They were overjoyed by the thought that their friend would soon be a seminarian. I am incredibly thankful for the support that I have received along the way.

Are there specific life changes that you have had to make to be successful at seminary formation?
As I became more serious in discernment, I found myself adjusting my social circles, and setting aside more time for prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It’s important that we live out our call to holiness, and take action to make adjustments when we find ourselves struggling to do so.

— Photos & interview by Laura Kilgus

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