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Montini Catholic Welcomes Seminarians for Vocations Awareness Day
Posted 02/14/2018 03:47PM

Montini Catholic Theology students welcomed seminarians from the Diocese of Joliet on Monday, February 12th for Vocations Awareness Day. Five young men, currently attending the Mundelein Seminary and preparing for priesthood, visited classes throughout the day to discuss their personal calling stories with students.

Senovio Sarabia, Jr. spoke to seniors in Campus Minister, Mr. Michael Blanchette's class. During his introduction, Mr. Blanchette asked the students to approach Senovio's story with an open mind. "We never know how God will work in our lives, or what he will call us to do," he said, adding, "Possibly a seed will be planted - so be open to the Spirit."

"As a young teen, I attended Mass for three reasons," began Senovia, explaining his motivation for the priesthood. "Jesus, girls and jelly doughnuts!"

Senovia shared his history as a student from Glendale Heights who saw no relevance in the Catholic faith. His interests centered around his love for soccer and his dream to play the sport professionally.

After what he described as 'feeling empty' inside one Friday night, he picked up the book 'Life After Death,' and was compelled, after reading it, to go to confession. "After confession I felt free," he told the students - "and it was then that I began my relationship with Christ."

Senovia continued to feed his passion for soccer, but felt himself, more and more, being pulled toward something more profound. "I met a girl in one of my classes who I really liked. It was her faith that really attracted me to her," he said. "I made up my mind to ask her out, but right before I did she tells me 'I was thinking about you last night and I think that you would make an awesome priest!'"

After the initial let down, Senovia realized that God was guiding him. "I knew that God was calling me to be his soldier, his warrior - I knew the priesthood was for me!' Senovia contacted Father Burke Masters, Vocations Director of the Diocese of Joliet. "When I told him my story he asked me one thing," said Senovia. "He asked me if I felt peace and joy inside - and my answer was, yes!"

Since then, Senovia has experienced a wonderful journey. He has been at the Seminary for almost five years now with two more to go, before being ordained. He currently lives with over 200 fellow seminarians and interns at Our Lady of Mercy in Aurora.

In conclusion, he advised Montini students to ask God for guidance and to not be afraid if they feel the calling to the priesthood. "Your personality never leaves you when you become a seminarian. You are you and God wants you just as you are."

"From visiting the sick to celebrating Holy Week in the slums of Honduras, I've come to encounter Jesus in everyplace I go," he concluded.

Senovia asks for prayers in his biography found online at: "Please pray for me by name that I become a Holy Priest . . . and that I don't eat too many doughnuts!"

Father Burke Masters and the Joliet Diocese Vocation Office are hosting Supper With the Sisters on March 13, 2018 at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Channahon, Illinois for women 16+ who are discerning religious life. They are also hosting Andrew Dinner at St. Scholastica in Woodridge on March 6th for men, ages 13+ who are discerning the priesthood or religious life. Both events feature dinner and conversation with Bishop R. Daniel Conlon. Those seeking more information can visit:

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