Jonathan Smith

Theology I
St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
St. Mary's, Alexandria

What did you do prior to entering seminary?

Previously, I was a campus missionary at Belmont Abbey College outside of Charlotte, NC with FOCUS, The Fellowship of Catholic University Students. As a missionary, I led Bible studies and mentored young men in the faith, helping them become missionary disciples. Before that, I graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Government and International Politics.

What influenced your decision to apply for seminary entrance?

I definitely felt a push from the Holy Spirit. After reflecting on it, I realized the Lord had been calling me in subtle ways my whole life and has been preparing me for this for a long time. I also had the wonderful influence of my college chaplain, Fr. Peter Nassetta, who lives out his vocation with an amazing and contagious joy.

Why do you want to be a priest?

I want to be a priest because I want to bring people to Jesus and Jesus to people, specifically through the Sacraments.

What are your favorite pastimes?

I love to cook (especially Italian food!), traveling, going on adventures and hiking.

What is your favorite quote?

“We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father's love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.” –St. John Paul II

Who is your favorite Saint and why?

My favorite saint is St. Francis Xavier because of his zeal for souls. At first, his life goals were very worldly and he wanted to become wealthy and famous. After meeting Ignatius of Loyola and encountering Christ, he spent the rest of his life traveling the world, converting tens of thousands of people to Christianity. He is known as one of the greatest missionaries since St. Paul and is the patron saint of missionaries.

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

Pray. If you aren’t praying, you aren’t discerning. Before you can know what God wants you to do in life, you must know God and His voice. Also, frequent the Sacraments as often as possible by going to daily Mass and Confession. And of course, talk to a priest. He can help you sort out all the thoughts and feelings going through your mind as you pray about it. I also found it helpful to read books on the priesthood and discernment like To Save a Thousand Souls. Last but not least, pray the Rosary daily. Our Lady is a powerful intercessor.