Ryan Malanga

College IV
St. John Paul II Seminary
Germanna Community College/Virginia Tech
Saint Patrick

What did you do prior to entering seminary?

Prior to seminary, I was a sophomore at Virginia Tech (virtually). Before that I was at Germanna Community College. During both years, I was very involved with the Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Mary Washington, in my hometown. I also worked at a golf course, doing maintenance work.  

What influenced your decision to apply for seminary entrance?

I was influenced by the examples set by holy and joyful priests, by my prayer and discernment, of course, and as I believe, the working of the Holy Spirit in my heart. The Holy Spirit set in my heart a zeal for His will and a desire for the priesthood, which led me down this path.  

Why do you want to be a priest?

In short, I want to be a priest because I believe it to be God's will, and His will is loving and merciful. Christ has given me a desire to bring Him to others in a tangible way. I want to be a channel and instrument of His love and grace in the world today, by giving myself to the building up of the Church in sacramental ministry. In turn, I believe that Christ and His Love will be brought to me through the people that I interact with, and through my studies.

What are your favorite pastimes?

One of my favorite pastimes is fishing. I also like to do different types of woodworking, whether it be carving, woodturning, or good old-fashioned carpentry. If you think about it, since we're all called to be like Christ, and Christ learned carpentry, we should all do it as a hobby (just sayin').

What is your favorite quote?

“Nothing but you, Lord” - St. Thomas Aquinas.  St. Thomas is said to have spoken this in response to our Lord, after having been asked by Christ what he would like as reward for all the good work that he had done in his life. I like this quote because it comes from a man who went into such detail with his study and writings, yet for him when it comes down to it, it's remarkably simple.

Who is your favorite Saint and why?

Definitely the Blessed Mother, especially under her titles: 'Mary, Mother of God (Theotokos)', 'Our Lady, Help of Christians', and 'Our Lady of Prompt Succor' -- for when I've procrastinated and need help fast. But among the 'normal' saints, so to speak, I would probably have to choose St. Maximillian Kolbe, who has a really cool story. His sacrificial love and self-giving is awe-inspiring. His example of Christ-likeness in the face of modern evil is edifying.

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

Pray. Discuss it with a spiritual director (and/or the vocations director). Keeping it to yourself doesn't do any good, there's a lot that you yourself can't perceive that would help you in your discernment. Pray more. Place yourself fully in a trusting relationship with the Lord; it is by His power, and only by His power, that you will do anything good (discern). You cannot and will not 'finesse' yourself an answer by your own power, you can only persevere in trust. Don't wait for the 'right moment' because there won't be one. Oh -and don't forget to pray.