John O'Farrell

Pre-Theology I
Pontifical College Josephinum
St. Mary's Parish, Alexandria

What did you do prior to entering seminary?

I worked as a project manager at the US Census Bureau.

What influenced your decision to apply for seminary entrance?

In the past, I had been asked about a potential vocation, but over time, I continued life doing my plan. However, I had a profound event that showed me the love of Christ in a deep and penetrating way while in adoration in 2014. My life as I knew it would never be the same. The Lord slowly led me on the process of discerning to apply as I stayed open to Him and continued to submit to His will. As I’ve walked this course, I found a great deal of support from my family, friends, and priests in the diocese. Looking back I also realize how God has written straight with crooked lines during my entire life to bring me to this point of entering seminary.

Why do you want to be a priest?

I desire to be a priest because I want to be a messenger of Christ to others through the sacraments and minister to the whole community by living out the gospel. I want to serve the faithful with humility, charity, and joy.

What are your favorite pastimes?

Spending time with family and friends, history, reading, walking, Texas Longhorn Football

What is your favorite quote?

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” – St. Augustine

Who is your favorite Saint and why?

I have many Saints that I turn to, but one I feel very close to on this journey is St Therese of Lisieux. As I learned more about her and how she grew up, I saw similarities in both of our lives. Further, as I grew closer to God’s will, I focused more on how to live life in a more simple way. Also, I was attracted to how St. Therese describes loving our Lord like a child to a parent and try to emulate it. Finally, her focus on mercy and trusting in God’s will is beautiful, especially in today’s world. She is a role model for how all of us should live.

What advice would you give to a young man thinking about the seminary?

Spend some time serving in your parish or at school. Also, find silence from the world when you can and be open to God’s voice through prayer. Further, spend time in adoration and go to daily Mass as much as possible. Finally, make sure to find a good spiritual director.