Fr. Nick Mormondo,The Call to the Priesthood

I was a perpetually professed Capuchin brother, happy with my life as it was and truly looking for nothing more than to be holy. In April of 1995, I looked into the possibility of taking some of the members of our parish Youth Group to Medjugorje. With only $20 in our Youth Group account, the likelihood of making the journey seemed impossible. To make a long story short, in no time at all, I had $11,000 which covered the cost for myself, four youth and two parents. We already had our first miracle and we hadn't even left Tampa, Florida!

For the previous year, thoughts of returning to studies for the priesthood, which I had abandoned years earlier, kept coming to mind. I had been praying on it as well as taking it to Spiritual Direction. Now that I was going to Medjugorje, I decided to make a request of Our Lady. In my prayer, I reminded her that it seemed as though everyone who went to Medjugorje got some kind of a miracle and I wanted one, too. I told her that if I was supposed to be a Priest, I needed to hear those words in Medjugorje. Truthfully, almost as quickly as I made the request, I completely forgot about it.

*On July 19th, our group had the privilege of being present with the Visionary Vicka for an apparition. It was very prayerful but I cannot say that I had any kind of extraordinary sense of the event. Two days later, on July 21st, Sandy Tobin, our pilgrimage director, asked to speak to me. Expecting to hear something about the kids' behavior, I was surprised to earn that she had something else to tell me. After I had taken a seat in her room, she looked me right in the eye and, pointing at me, she said, - "You're supposed to be a priest."

At that instant, I remembered the request I had made of Our Lady prior to leaving for the pilgrimage and burst out in tears. I realized that my request was being answered. Sandy proceeded to tell me that, during the apparition, she had a sense that I was being called but that I was struggling with it. She heard, "believe first, then you will see." She sensed that I was wanting to see first; then I would believe.

You're waiting for a big miracle to happen and then you'll believe; but the Lord is saying, believe first and then you'll see. As far as I was concerned, the big miracle had just happened.
I spent about three or four hours that day, by myself, in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the little Chapel behind St. James Church. Basically, I told the Lord that I was willing to accept the call. The one sense that I can remember experiencing during that time was the awareness that my life was going to change again. I wasn’t looking for another change; but I knew that my life was going in another direction and that I couldn’t see what it would hold.

Immediately upon my return from Medjugorje, I told my superior that I wanted to study for the priesthood. Eventually, that door was opened and I began my seminary studies in August of 1997. I was ordained a priest on Saturday, June 23, 2001, the day on which the Church celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Nothing could have been more appropriate...http://www.pilgrimspeace.com/

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