Seminary follows long debate
Theology student says thoughts of priesthood would not go away
First in a series about the diocese's seminarians
By Sarah Malcore
John Girotti thought about the priesthood for a long time
before he finally entered Mundelein Seminary near Chicago.
"Priesthood was a gut feeling that came and went, but no
matter what I did, it would not go away," said Girotti, a
seminarian for the Green Bay Diocese.
Girotti traces his initial interest in the priesthood back
to grade school. When he was in grades four through six at
Christ the King School in Wauwatosa, his pastor suffered
from multiple sclerosis (MS). Even though the priest was in
great pain, Girotti remembers that he still came and spoke
to their class once a week.
Girotti saw that as an act of service and realized that the
mission of a priest is to serve others, most of all, God. In
the back of his mind, thoughts of serving others began to
At age 16, he began thinking seriously about priesthood when
he saw all the confusion and Godlessness in the world. He
said his feelings were even stronger when he noticed how sad
people are who don't have Jesus in their lives.
"God is the key to living a true, fulfilled life," Girotti
said. "So much sadness and hurt are due to rejecting a
relationship with the Lord. A relationship with the Lord is
the most important thing you can have."
After graduating from Marquette High School in Milwaukee,
Girotti still didn't feel ready for the seminary, so he went
to Lawrence University in Appleton to study music and to
discern if he did have a vocation to the priesthood.
"I fought it, discerned it, ran from it and bargain with it
for five years," Girotti said.
"I was dating, I wanted to make lots of money, I wanted to
be happy on my terms," Girotti said. "I fought this way for
five years. I eventually realized that sin can come easily
when rejecting a vocation. I finally made the decision to
take the 'leap of faith' and give seminary a chance."
So Girotti, who in 2002 is scheduled to be the next young
man ordained for the Green Bay Diocese, entered the seminary
at age 21 and he hasn't been disappointed.
"The last three years have been the best three years of my
life," Girotti said enthusiastically. "Seminary is like
heaven on earth. I have never been so joyful, being with 175
other guys with the same interests as myself. There are
sports to be involved in, good discussions, and most of all,
Although study and prayer are a major part of seminary life,
Girotti also finds time for hobbies, including scale model
building and practicing the cello. He also enjoys restoring
old cars and going out for Italian food, especially pizza.
After years of contemplating the priesthood and three years
in the seminary, Girotti advises men of all ages considering
priesthood to "pray, talk to a priest, and most of all,
trust in God. Do not run, God made us all for a reason. Do
not throw out God's plan for yourself or you will never be
happy. Serving God is never easy. Nothing today is as
exciting and fulfilling as priesthood. Nothing!"
(Malcore is an intern in the diocesan Vocations Office.)
Who: John Girotti
What: Third year theology student
Where: Mundelein Seminary near Chicago
Background: Born in 1975 and raised in Wauwatosa. Graduated
from Christ the King grade school, and Marquette High
School. Member of St. Josaphat Basilica in Milwaukee.
Parents: Margaret Anshuf, a full-time mother, and Albert
Girotti, a scientist, both of Wauwatosa.
E-mail: [email protected]
Interested: For more information on vocations to priesthood
or religious life, phone Fr. Doug LeCaptain at (920)437-7531
or toll-free at 1-877-500-3580, ext. 8293, or by e-mail,