John Girotti, a candidate for priesthood from the Green Bay Diocese, will be ordained a deacon at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.
Card. Francis George of Chicago will be the ordaining prelate at the Mass at St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary.
Girotti is scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood by Bp. Robert Banks on May 18, 2002, in St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Green Bay.
Girotti will continue his studies at Mundelein and starting March 1 also will serve on weekends as a deacon at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, Green Bay.
Girotti, the son of Albert and Margaret Girotti of Wauwatosa, said he thought a long time about priesthood before entering the seminary.
"Priesthood was a gut feeling that came and went, but no matter what I did, it would not go away," said Girotti, who traces his initial interest in the priesthood back to Christ the King grade school in Wauwatosa.
He recalls how the pastor, who despite being in great pain from multiple sclerosis, still spoke weekly to his class. Girotti saw that as an act of service and realized that serving others -- particularly God -- is the mission of a priest.
When he was 16, his interest in priesthood increased as he noticed how "truly sad people were who didn't have Jesus in their lives. God is the key to living a true, fulfilled life. So much sadness and hurt are due to rejecting a relationship with the Lord."
After graduating from Marquette High School in Milwaukee, he studied music at Lawrence University in Appleton and contemplated a vocation to the priesthood.
"I fought it, discerned it, ran from it and bargained with it for five years," Girotti said. "I was dating, I wanted to make lots of money, I wanted to be happy on my own terms. 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."
Girotti says he has never been so joyful as he's been being in the seminary "with 200 other guys with the same interests as myself. There are sports to be involved in, deep discussions, and most of all, a strong brotherhood."
Besides study and prayer, Girotti enjoys scale model building, practicing the cello, restoring old cars and going out for Italian food.
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!"
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