Ethan Gould

St. John Paul II Seminary, Washington, D.C.
College III
St. John the Evangelist Parish, Warrenton, VA.

What did you do prior to entering seminary?

I served as a soldier in the Army National Guard for six years. During my time in the Army, I deployed twice, once to the Middle East, and once on a disaster relief mission to the U.S. Virgin Islands. As a civilian, I have worked as a Carpenter for a construction company and as the Assistant Director of a local theater group.

What influenced your decision to apply for seminary entrance?

My time as an altar server and attending the Quo Vadis Camp were both important influences in my desire to explore a vocation to the priesthood. However, the most significant impact was the friendship and example of the priests at my home parish. There are several priests in particular who have been outstanding examples of priestly ministry and I have benefited greatly from their advice and friendship as they have helped me to grow spiritually.

Why do you want to be a priest?  

I have a great desire to serve God, His people and the Church. I hope to serve by accompanying and supporting people along the path to Heaven, particularly by offering the Sacraments and preaching the truth of the Gospel.   

What are your favorite pastimes?

I enjoy playing soccer, reading, playing games (both board and video), good conversation and spending time with my family and friends. 

What is your favorite quote?

I have two:
“Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors to Christ.” – St. John Paul II
“No half-heartedness and no worldly fear must turn us aside from following the light.” – J.R.R. Tolkien


Who is your favorite Saint and why?

It’s difficult to pick just one. One of the saints I admire most is St. John Vianney. His devotion to Christ and the people that he served as a priest is something that has always inspired me. In particular, his dedication to providing the Sacrament of Confession to all who came to him was incredible. Sometimes he would hear Confessions for over ten hours a day! Another fantastic example he set was in the way he relied on God to defend him from the temptations and assaults of Satan and his demons.

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

Develop a strong habit of daily prayer, and attend Adoration and Mass often. God will speak to you in peace and silence. Listen to his promptings over time, and discuss them with a trusted mentor or priest. Also consider attending some events with Quo Vadis or the Men’s Discernment Group. Having the opportunity to talk with the Vocation Director and to talk with other men who are in similar circumstances can be a great support and may help you in understanding God’s will.