Joshua Osborne, St. Joseph Church, Conway

Attends Saint Meinrad Seminary in St. Meinrad, Indiana

If someone had told me I would be a seminarian four years ago, I would have never believed them. I had grown up around the Church, but my lack of interaction with priests outside of Mass meant that I never seriously considered the priesthood or religious life.

After high school, I moved from Clarksville, Tennessee, to study cybersecurity at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. While in Conway, I got involved with several volunteer opportunities at my campus ministry and local parish.

Through these experiences, I grew a special appreciation for the people and programs in each Catholic community. I saw how the Holy Spirit is truly present in those places where ordinary people sacrifice themselves for others. I did not know it at the time, but God was showing me the face of Christ through others.

At the same time, I can see that God was preparing my heart for seminary before I even considered it for myself. Looking back, there were various seasons during my two years in college in which God helped me increase my faith and trust in him. God, in his providence, also introduced me to several priests who served as significant role models for me.

Their joy and reverence for the priesthood shed new light on the vocation for me. After all this, it was clear where my heart was moving me. I could never say no to this opportunity to be at service to God’s people through the wonderful ministry of a priest.

Of course, God did not stop giving me gifts once I entered the seminary. Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to journey alongside my brother seminarians, all of whom are dedicated and devout servants of Christ and his Church. Furthermore, I am blessed to have met many of the Hispanic communities around the diocese. I love seeing how each community shares its unique culture and traditions with the Church. The faith of these individuals is also a huge inspiration for me, and I look forward to giving them more opportunities to share their gifts in our parishes.

As I continue my formation as a seminarian, I am continually driven by the overwhelming dedication of the Catholic people here in Arkansas. I have heard many stories and met many people whose strong faith pushes them to give so much of their time and energy to the Church.

It is especially for these people that I wish to give my life as a diocesan priest. I look forward each day to walking with each one of you as we approach the heavenly banquet, our home with Christ. Know that all of you are in my prayers, and I humbly ask for your prayers as well. Thank you, and may God bless you.