December 1, 2020 | Vocations

Christopher French during an April 2019 visit to the Grand Canyon with his sister, Megan, and their parents, Ginny and Jack French.

Holy Spirit parishioner ‘trusting in the Lord’ as he experiences first year of seminary


At a young age, I saw the priesthood as a possible path I could take in life but being so young, the priesthood felt the same as any other cool occupation like being an astronaut or firefighter. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school, after attending NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference) and meeting many religious, did I understood what living one’s vocation really meant.

Of course, like any reasonable teenager, this newfound understanding was pushed aside as I decided to go to college and major in electrical engineering. It didn’t take long for God to show me that my desire was not in engineering, but in a life devoted wholly to Him. After some reflection on this epiphany, I asked my favorite saint, St. Christopher, to intercede for me and be a guide for me on this path of discernment.

Around the end of my first semester as a college freshman, I decided to contact my diocese’s vocations director, Fr. Jason McClure, who helped me greatly in starting this journey. My decision to discern Holy Orders felt, at the time, as if I was making a hasty decision, but once I started the application process and entered the seminary I realized that this call had been weighing on my heart for a long time.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” Proverbs 3:5, has become somewhat of a motto for me. This verse helped my early and current discernment and reminds me of the simple fact to trust in the Lord.

This was especially true when I first started the seminary application process. The application process itself was grueling but also exciting I learned a lot about myself, what it would mean to be a priest, and what it means to discern one’s vocation. Now I am at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis, about to complete my first semester here as a sophomore for the Diocese of Owensboro and I can say with confidence that my experience has exceeded my wildest expectations.

Since coming here I was surprised to find that living in community is one of my favorite things. I firmly believe that the friendships you make here are life-long. Living in community is also one of the most challenging things for me not that my brother seminarians are awful, but because it is a change from what I am used to, just living with my family. I am glad to be at Bruté joyfully discerning, what I hope will be, my vocation.

Christopher French with Fr. Timothy Khui Shing Ling during a May 29, 2018 farewell party at Holy Spirit Parish in Bowling Green, two days before the priest returned to minister in his native country of Myanmar, also known as Burma. COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHER FRENCH

Christopher French (altar server’s alb) with his friends Annemarie Knutson and Nick Malmquist at Holy Spirit Parish’s 2019 Christmas Eve Mass. COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHER FRENCH

Originally printed in the January 2021 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

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