James Buttner

During a phone interview to teach Totus Tuus after my sophomore year of college, I remember responding to the question of “Where have you encountered God?” with the definitive answer, “In my family!” Although I had not actively reflected on it a lot before, I realized that one of the most profound places that I had encountered the love of Christ was in the love of my parents and siblings.

Teaching Totus Tuus that summer, I witnessed the joy of parish life from a new perspective as a teacher and a missionary. I discovered the profound joy of giving of my time, talent, and treasure for the service of God and others. I realized that as much as I enjoyed studying physics as an undergrad, the way I was spending my free time – with the Newman community, reading about Catholicism, and praying in the chapel – revealed where my heart really was.

After graduating from Colgate University, I worked for a year and over that time witnessed how the invitation to the priesthood continued to grow in my heart. I realized that there was a desire on my heart to share the joy and beauty of my experience of a family life founded on faith, and that the Lord was inviting me to see how that could be especially possible through the diocesan priesthood. It has been a joy in the midst of challenges to navigate seminary formation and grow in the recognition that the Holy Spirit is still inviting me to follow this path. It becomes clearer with each year that the Lord’s invitation, “the call,” always challenges me but is always faithful.