Jacob Mazur-Batistoni: Come and See
It was over coffee during the first semester of my sophomore year of college that I heard these words, “Do you want to know the best way to do what you want to do? The priesthood.” I looked Fr. Nick in the eyes and adamantly shut down the idea. Fast forward to the next semester: I was sheepishly telling Father, “I think I am being called to the priesthood,” to which he simply raised his eyebrows as if to say, ‘I told you so.’ Just before the semester started I attended a conference and had a deep conversion. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, I had a newfound openness to God’s voice. It was in hearing His voice that I found out that he was leading me to the priesthood.
After I informed Fr. Nick of my new direction I began the discernment process, allowing him to help me follow the Lord faithfully. We began meeting every two weeks and shortly after that we started the Exodus 90 program. In this time of prayer and fasting, I grew deep in my faith and learned about myself and God. I did not feel a pull in one direction or another, but I had a great deal of peace despite the lack of direction.
My discernment process picked up when Fr. Nick suggested that I go to a “Come and See” weekend with the Dominicans in St. Louis. During this visit I experienced the brother’s communal way of life. All the visitors joined the brothers in Morning Prayer (Lauds), Evening Prayer (Vespers), and Night Prayer (Compline). This was an incredible experience that revealed a longing for a life built around prayer. The brothers were friendly, joyful, and had a great sense of humor. The mission of the Dominicans, to preach the gospel and convert souls, deeply resonated with me. I feel myself drawn to the spiritual works of mercy, which is at the core of this mission.
Although there are many years of discernment ahead of me, the Dominicans are currently the front runners. I am thankful that guidance will be readily available due to Fr. Nick’s presence at Hope. Regardless of where I end up, this season has been a great blessing for me and I will be closer to Christ because of it.
Jacob Mazur-Batistoni, formerly ‘Jacob with the long hair,’ is a junior studying Church History and Theology at Hope College. Jacob serves as a leader for the student group Hope Catholics and works with the high schoolers in the ALPHA program at St. Francis de Sales Parish.