Johnathan Saniuk

Johnathan Saniuk
City
Milford
State
MA
Country
United States
High School
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (BVT)
College
Quinsigamond Community College/UMass Lowell
Seminary Attending
Class Year
Pre-Theology I

What are some of the factors that led to your decision to enter the seminary and discern the question of a vocation to the priesthood?

The providence of God and His refusal to let go of me, even when I insisted on running headfirst away from Him. He knew where He wanted me, and through various vocation retreats and a yearning in my heart for him that I encountered in my prayer He kept lovingly leading me back on course every time I deviated.

Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?

The three people who had the biggest impact on me were Deacon Mike Mott, Fr. Eric Cadin, and Fr. Peter Joyce. Deacon Mike was the one to invite me to that first discernment retreat, and Fr. Cadin was there to lend an ear when I was trying to decide what path I wanted to take after I finished college. Fr. Peter has been a stunning example of true Pastoral love to me for the past few years since he took over at my home Parish, and his patience and care are incredibly inspiring.

What would you say is the role of prayer in the life of a seminarian and what effect does it have on one's ability to see God's call?

It is impossible to see and understand the will of God without prayer. Doesn't matter what your vocation is or where you are in life, if you're not praying you're not giving God the space to speak to you. The only reason I was able to discern this call was because He first led me into a deeper prayer life through the rosary and Exodus 90. I never would have had the courage to put aside my own will in favor of His otherwise.

What advice would you give to a man who is thinking about his vocation and is considering that God may be calling him to be a priest?

Spend a minimum of 20 minutes daily before the blessed sacrament in silence. It can be in front of the tabernacle, an adoration live stream, or in person adoration if you're lucky enough to have it in your area. However you do it, remember that God is present with you no matter where you go, and make the effort to spend that time with Jesus every day. You can talk to him, just sit there and think, whatever you want to do just make sure you spend that time with Jesus. I would suggest not reading or praying Rosary or anything, unless you want to reflect on something short, just sit and rest with the Prince of Peace.

What do you like most about being a seminarian?

Having prayer structured into my daily schedule by someone else is pretty amazing. At the end of my college career I started to structure more prayer in on my own, but it's really nice to have a schedule built around my prayer time, rather than having to build prayer in around my classes. Also having a chapel with Jesus in the tabernacle 32 steps from my door (I counted) is the most incredible thing to me.

What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?

The world and the enemy don't want us to be here. It makes Satan squirm every time we even think about conforming ourselves to Christ in even the smallest ways. The closer you get to making this decision often times the harder it gets to accept it, especially living in a culture that's so focused on personal pleasure and our own happiness. The biggest lie we're told is that following the world will make us happy, but true joy lies within the sacred heart of Jesus alone, flowing from the fount of divine mercy that pours out of his heart. Often the greatest challenge we face is accepting that the world doesn't know jack, and Jesus is the true source of life, love, and joy.

What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?

I'm a huge fan of fantasy novels and video games, and I've been known to watch the occasional TV show or movie with my friends. These days however I find myself largely putting those things aside in favor of prayer, exercise, and quality time spent with my brothers. While I would love to sit down and play video games for 6 hours some days, the reality is that there's no room in my heart for two masters. Instead I'm working on shifting my hobbies towards healthier and more spiritually fruitful things where I can. Also, ping pong is my jam.

What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston?

Catechesis and pastoral care. We need priests and deacons willing to share life with young men and teach them the authentic teachings of the church through relationship. Very few people make it here from some mystical revelation where God tells them exactly what they need to do. Just because it happened to St. Faustina doesn't mean it's the reality for the average seminarian. The best way to show people that God is calling them to give their lives to him is to show them who God is, and that is best done following the same model our Savior used: personal, loving relationships.

What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston?

Catechesis and pastoral care. We need priests and deacons willing to share life with young men and teach them the authentic teachings of the church through relationship. Very few people make it here from some mystical revelation where God tells them exactly what they need to do. Just because it happened to St. Faustina doesn't mean it's the reality for the average seminarian. The best way to show people that God is calling them to give their lives to him is to show them who God is, and that is best done following the same model our Savior used: personal, loving relationships.

It starts with the ordained, but lay people are just as capable of sharing the love of God with others. We need the whole church to participate in the work of evangelization, and if we all trust God in this then He'll lead His servants where they need to be. Get out there and share life with someone in your area or church. Teach them of the Love of God through your life and care and He will call them to wherever He wants them.

Back to Meet Our Seminarians

Johnathan Saniuk
City
Milford
State
MA
Country
United States
High School
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (BVT)
College
Quinsigamond Community College/UMass Lowell
Seminary Attending
Class Year
Pre-Theology I