Corpus Christi Blog

My Vocation Story

11-13-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Chad King

As we conclude Vocation Awareness Week, let me share with you my vocation story. I have always been Catholic and my family and I went to Mass every Sunday. However, it wasn't until my family moved to Chandler, AZ, when I was in the 6 th grade that I became more involved in the life of the parish. I went to the junior high program, and then was very involved in the high school youth group. I grew a lot in my faith during high school. It was on a youth group retreat when I was a Junior in high school, while thinking about what I wanted to study in college and do as a career, that I thought about the priesthood. At the time, I assumed that because I loved God and had a strong faith, God was therefore calling me to be a priest.

Also while I was in high school, my sister was in college at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. After visiting her, I realized I wanted to go there. My sister though, encouraged me to go to Mesa Community College for two years before transferring in order to save money, so I did. I knew that Franciscan University is one of the top Catholic universities in the United States, and so if I did have a vocation to the priesthood, going to such a Catholic university would not hurt, but only help my vocation. One of the great things about Franciscan University are the households, in which students are able to choose a community to pray together and foster spiritual growth according to each household's charisms. Still discerning the priesthood, I entered a household of other discerning men, and started working on degrees of Philosophy and Theology.

However, during the summer between my Junior and Senior year of college, I had a strong desire to date someone. I did not know who, there wasn't a girl "who got away" or who I wondered "what if" about, but perhaps because I hadn't dated much in high school or early college, I wanted to date someone. During that summer, I prayed a lot and tried to discern if that desire was coming from God. Having prayed but not hearing clearly and still having that desire, when I went back to school for my Senior year, I discerned out of the formation for priesthood, though I kept on track to get BAs in Philosophy and Theology. After graduating, I came back to Arizona and got a job as a youth minister at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Tempe for one year. It was here that I realized the need for men to be holy husbands and fathers just as much as holy priests and I grew to appreciate and love the Sacrament of Marriage. For the next four years, I worked at the front desk of a hotel, a credit card call center, and then for Bank of America's fraud department. All the while, I was involved in parishes helping with RCIA. During this time I was dating here and there but nothing serious. Although my heart was planning on marriage, I continued to pray that God's will would be done.

Then in 2004, six years after college, I was at a Men's Mission at my parish. The visiting priest giving the retreat was a real man of prayer. His words stirred my heart again to be that kind of man, to be a man of prayer. In the Holy Hour that evening with my heart desiring God and holiness in a renewed and deeper way, God placed the idea of priesthood back on my heart. Remember that in high school I was assuming that priesthood was God's will for me, but I guess it took much longer for me to desire, to be open, to know God's will for my life. From that moment on, I kept discerning priesthood. I applied to the seminary and a few months later I was accepted and entered. I was ordained six years ago and here I am today, thankful for the opportunity to serve you. I love being a priest. Although there are some struggles, as there are in everything, I continually realize that I am fulfilled with all my heart. All of us are most fulfilled when we are doing what God's will is for us. If you don't already know, I pray that you will come to know God's will for you today, so you too will be fulfilled.