Gianni Verginio

For as long as I can remember I have always thought of the priesthood. My grandma played a huge role in my discernment. She always brought me to mass as a child and she would always sit me down and teach me about the teachings of the church and the Bible. I was always excited as a child to learn more about my faith and God. That was one of the many things I looked forward to when going to my grandmas house. As I got older that part of my discernment carried over to my later years in middle school. Where I joined a youth group first started by Father Jamie Schultz. Father Shultz played a huge role in my discernment because he pushed me to be apart of youth group and to become an alter server.Being an alter server is such a blessing in my life! When I grew even older going into my early years of highschool I fell away from my faith for a little bit. I was not as hyped up to go to mass, it felt like a burden to me and I just felt like God was getting in the way of me wanting to do my own thing. At the end of my freshman year of highschool my parish, Sacred Heart church in Cicero, got a new pastor, Father Richard Prior. He came up to me one day and told me I have to go on this week long leadership retreat conference. At first I thought to myself ” I am not a leader, I am way too shy and awkward to be one.” And he continued to ask me every time I saw him, so I said ” Ok I will go.” The retreat was awesome! The whole week was amazing! I never experienced God’s love and mercy in such a way before! And in this retreat,God reaffirmed my vocation to becoming a priest. This retreat played such a huge role in my later years of discernment and it was all because Father Prior pushed me. As I went deeper into my years of highschool I continued to pray and discern and follow God’s path for me. I continued to go on youth group retreats, Steubenville conferences and more. I made some great friends along the way who have helped me out in my discernment. Such as one of my brother seminarians, Carlos Gonzalez. He continues to help me out in my discernment by constantly being there for me when I need it the most and just being an overall great friend. This has been one heck of a journey and it is just getting started.