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Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
My decision to enter the seminary did not involve a watershed conversion moment or anything extraordinary. I remember my family was good friends with our parish priest Father Mark Wood, and as a result, I was exposed to the priesthood in a positive light early on.
Later on, my oldest brother, now Father Mike Johns, decided to begin seminary formation. Because of this the priesthood didn’t seem at all foreign to me, and in a sense, it was only natural for me to begin considering whether God was calling me to the priesthood.
After a lot of praying, I realized that God was telling me that he had a plan for my life, and that only by following his plan would I ever really find fulfilment in life. At first, I wasn’t totally sure that God’s plan was for me to become a priest, but I did feel a pull in that direction, so I eventually decided to enter the seminary immediately after I graduated high school.
Throughout my time in the seminary, I’ve been amazed at how God’s grace is able to reach me and guide me through other people, especially those to whom I have been privileged to serve. One of the things that the Lord has been teaching me is that he is always present, even in those moments when I least expect him to be there. Looking back, I can see that God has always been present in my life.
One thing that I have become convinced of during my time in the seminary is that each one of us is in one way or another is called to serve. I have gradually come to realize that the Lord has given me a deep desire to be his servant by helping to bring people closer to him, and that this is his plan for me. Through the various ministerial assignments I have received in the seminary, I have come to realize that God is calling me to serve him by building up his Church.
The Lord has always been there for me and provided me with his grace, and I want to be able to share the grace that I have received with others. I am excited to be able to be part of the Lord’s plan in the Diocese of Little Rock.
If you wish to contact Mark Johns, please e-mail Maria Izquierdo-Roque in the Vocations Office or call her at (501) 664-0340. This article was published July 1, 2020. Copyright Diocese of Little Rock. All rights reserved. This article may be copied or redistributed with acknowledgement and permission of the publisher.