Adam Schwartz

Home Parish: Immaculate Conception Church Ithaca, NY

Year you entered the seminary? 2020

What did you do before you entered the seminary?
I worked as a Clinical Research Associate in cancer research and recently for a pharmaceutical company in laboratory production.

Why did you enter the seminary?
My calling came after the death of a grandparent. After some time, a little voice in my heart grew louder and more profound. After hearing the Lord’s call, I spoke to a local parish priest and the process of discernment began.

What was one of the major influences leading you to consider priesthood?
We live in challenging times and even now men are hearing the call from Christ to serve him faithfully. Working in the medical field most of my life, I was able to help heal people physically. Now I feel the wish to do so spiritually as well.

Interests:
I enjoy cooking, especially for others. Photography is another interest I have. Capturing the beauty of God’s creation. I also enjoy hiking. One of my goals is to eventually hike the entire Appalachian trail!


George Bastedo IV

Home Parish: St. Joseph the Worker, Clyde

Year you entered the seminary? 2019

What did you do before you entered the seminary? Why did you enter the seminary?
I entered the seminary in the fall of 2019 after spending a year as a  music teacher in a public high school. I entered the seminary because I began to wonder through prayer and encounters with the people around me whether God might be calling me to become a priest, and because I was struck by how the local priest shortage has affected our parishes.

What was one of the major influences leading you to consider priesthood?
It’s hard to pinpoint one influence in particular, but if I had to choose I would say being a music minister and becoming involved in the liturgy was a major factor that led to me considering the priesthood.

Interests:
As a musician, I enjoy singing as well as playing piano, trumpet, and organ, and I have been involved with many musical theatre productions over the past several years. I also like to read, play board games, and participate in trivia/academic competition.


Mark Wegener

Home Parish: Our Lady of Victory, Rochester NY

Year you entered the seminary? 2019

What did you do before you entered the seminary?
I was a financial statement auditor for The Bonadio Group.

Why did you enter the seminary?
After going to college and discovering my faith I kept asking questions and digging deeper into the mysteries. I am naturally curious, and the more I searched the clearer my vocation became.

What was one of the major influences leading you to consider priesthood?
I was active in my parish and passionate about catechesis and service to the church. With the direction of the Holy Spirit, and multiple holy priests, I was guided into discovering my vocation to the priesthood.

Interests:
I enjoy spending time friends, talking about cars, watching movies, reading, hunting and marksmanship, hiking, and camping.


David Cataline

Home Parish: Our Lady of Peace Parish, Geneva NY

Year you entered the seminary? 2019

What did you do before you entered the seminary?
I was an educator and school administrator for Baltimore City Schools

Why did you enter the seminary?
I have always been involved in the church in some capacity since I was an altar server. The more I became involved, the more I felt drawn to the priesthood.

What was one of the major influences leading you to consider priesthood? My involvement in the church as well as the priests whom I know personally. They have been a guiding star in my discernment.

Interests:
I enjoy reading and hanging out with friends. I am very involved in my brother’s foundation so I do a lot of work with them for awareness and other events for families.


James Muscatella

Home Parish: Parish of the Holy Family, Gates

Year you entered the seminary? What did you do before you entered the seminary? Why did you enter the seminary?
I entered St. John’s Seminary for pre-theology studies in 2018. Before entering the seminary, I studied childhood and special education, with a concentration in history, at Roberts Wesleyan College, after which I attended The College at Brockport (SUNY) part-time for a few semesters to take graduate level classes in literacy education. I also worked as a Student Behavioral Assistant for three years as an employee of Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES, primarily at the organization’s Alternative High School. I entered the seminary, despite how wonderful and rewarding my experiences were working in education, because I felt that Christ was calling me to explore a life more united to His salvific work.

What was one of the major influences leading you to consider priesthood?
The number of instrumental personal influences and God-given moments which lead me to discernment are far too numerous to speak to adequately in this form. However, it would feel improper not to mention that my family, particularly my best friend and brother Anthony, my parents and both sets of my grandparents served as my first great examples of well lived lives that urged me, in their own ways, to in turn live as Christ calls each of us.

Beyond this, my work with youths, both as a part of my time at BOCES and my involvement in the Senior High Youth Group at my parish, served to point me towards discernment of the ordained priesthood. In both of these roles I was given a great gift; I was privileged to share in the real, joyous, and sometimes tumultuous lives of young people as they worked out their developing identities and discovered their own God-given goodness. It was through this work I felt, in greater and greater ways, that the Lord our God may have been calling me for quite some time to love Him and His people here in a special way: as, it is to be seen, one of His priests.

Interests:
I have been interested in music for many years. While I am very much an amateur, years of taking guitar lessons from a talented and faithful man, now a close family friend, helped lead me to a greater love and appreciation of our beautiful faith. I also enjoy reading, especially the works of G.K. Chesterton and Robert Hugh Benson. While I try not to spend too much time watching a screen, I have a deep appreciation for some science fiction programs and movies, especially (certain) Star Wars films and episodes from the original series run of The Twilight Zone.  Spending time as a family was a central and happy part of my upbringing, and even today as I write this I look forward to the next time I will be able to go fishing or watch an episode of Jeopardy, loudly, with my family.


Joseph Maurici

Home Parish: St. Mary of the Assumption

Year you entered the seminary? What did you do before you entered the seminary? Why did you enter the seminary?
I began my studies in 2014 at Becket Hall.  Before I enter

ed the seminary program I spent six years in the retail sector.  These years were spent after college trying to figure out what to do with my life.  After a lot of thought and prayer and a few gentle, and not so gentle, nudges from God, I decided to apply to the diocese for seminary studies.

What was one of the major influences leading you to consider priesthood?
I don’t think I can point to any one thing that pushed me toward the seminary.  It was more of a gradual accumulation of experiences and discussions that pointed me in the right direction, although it took me years to understand and appreciate that the call has been present to me since high school.

Interests:
My interests and hobbies are eclectic, ranging from sports and literature to model building and cinema.  I enjoy hiking and swimming, science fiction, games, and music, again, running the gamut from classical to modern rock.


Steven Lewis

Home Parish: St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Year you entered the seminary? What did you do before you entered the seminary? Why did you enter the seminary?
I worked for 14 years at The College at Brockport, State University of New York in the IT Office. I began formation for the priesthood at Becket Hall 2014-15, and expect to finish my pre-theology studies at St. John’s Seminary in Boston in 2015-16. I entered the seminary because I believe that’s really the best place to figure out whether God is calling me to the priesthood.

What was one of the major influences leading you to consider priesthood?
We live in a world of constant distractions. Giving up television was one factor in helping me find more time for God. In developing a better prayer life, I was able to see the action of God in my life, and the encouragement to reconsider this possibility at this time of my life.

Interests:
I have always seen myself as a student, so the opportunity to study full-time is a gift. I often read science fiction. I am passionate about the sacred choral polyphony of the Renaissance and I enjoy every opportunity I have to enter the racquetball court.


Aaron Kelly

Home parish:  Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick Parish, Owego

What year did you enter the seminary? Why did you enter the seminary?
I entered the college seminary in September 2013 after graduating high school, because I have felt a calling to the priesthood ever since I was little. When I was asked what I wanted to be throughout elementary, middle, and high school, I would say “a priest.”  My dad tells me the story that when I was little he asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said, “a father,” and his response was, “like me?” I said “no, like father at Church.” The moments that make the call even more real are when people in the parish, or friends at school come up to me and say that I will make a good priest.  I also know that I am headed in the right direction by the overwhelming peace I have when I am at Mass or in the Church serving the people of God.

Interests:
I play the organ and piano, and sing.  I have been able to continue my music here at the seminary by singing in our schola, as well as playing the organ for Masses. Two years ago I founded the Diocese of Rochester’s Walk for Vocations which raised money for the education of seminarians. I would have to say that two of my favorite saints are St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. John Paul II.  Both Maximilian Kolbe and John Paul II are great examples to me of the priesthood and how the priest’s primary vocation is service to the people of God.