From a Seminarian: Mark DeCelles

Checking in with seminarian Mark DeCelles during National Vocation Awareness Week.

It’s National Vocation Awareness Week and we wanted to touch base with some of our seminarians.

Mark DeCelles shared with us a little about his Pastoral Year at Saint Matthew Parish in East Stroudsburg:

For the 2019-2020 school year, I am on Pastoral Year at Saint Matthew’s Parish in East Stroudsburg. This means that I will spend one year of my formation for priestly ministry living and working at a parish rather than living and taking classes in a traditional seminary setting. I’m enjoying every minute of it! St. Matthew’s is a wonderful, diverse parish community, and I love to spend time with the people here, whether that means praying with the Hispanic community at a house Mass, teaching RCIA sessions for our catechumens and candidates, spending time with disadvantaged members of the community at our warming center, or having fun at one of our Synodia youth events.

While there are many good things happening here at St. Matthew’s, I have a special place in my heart for the high school and college men’s discernment groups that meet here every month. Having been part of a discernment group that met at the rectory here for dinner and fellowship during the 2016-17 school year, I know just how helpful it can be for a discerner to know that I’m not the only one my age struggling to discover God’s will for my life, wondering if I might be called to the priesthood. I am very grateful to Fr. Jerry, Fr. Joe and Ryan (now Fr. Ryan) for supporting, encouraging and challenging me over the course of that year. It is a tremendous privilege to be able to give back this year by accompanying these high school and college-aged men on their paths of discernment.

Please continue to pray for vocations to the Priesthood!


Mark DeCelles

Seminarian, Diocese of Scranton