Mr. Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell
City
Ipswich
State
MA
High School
St. John's Prep, Danvers, MA
College
Bowdoin College
Seminary Attending
Class Year
Pre-Theology II

What are some of the factors that led to your decision to enter the seminary and discern the question of a vocation to the priesthood
St. John says, 'He that abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him.' After my reversion, I understood that love for God is something that is alive and original, something deeply rooted in the depths of our being, something which changes our life and gives us the power to bear witness to other people. I saw that work with people, with the sick, with the marginalized makes me happy. I believe these are the things of value which are eternal and I pray to God for the grace to have a heart for every human being, especially for those who are far away - far away from other people, from God, and from themselves.

Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
Diocesan and religious priests of Boston assisted me by being conduits of God's love.

What would you say is the role of prayer in the life of a seminarian and what effect does it have on one's ability to see God's call?
Through prayer our faith grows and love is born. Sheer silence and prayer of the heart help us to consent to God’s presence and action within, receive the gift of grace, and clarify the indistinct. The role of prayer is necessary as growth in charity results only from a divine gift given.

What advice would you give to a man who thinking about his vocation and is considering that God may be calling him to be a priest?
The only way to communicate with God is to love God. God is an experience of now. You can immerse yourself in Him only in this present moment. If you are willing to pray for the grace of a priestly vocation, God has put that graced desire on your heart; if you are not willing to ask for that grace, perhaps you have your answer for the time being. Remember that God can never be outdone in generosity and entrust your vocation to the Blessed Mother.

What do you like most about being a seminarian?
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the sacramental gift of Holy Communion, and the Real Presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. See Psalm 84:10!

What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?
Jesus is asking him, 'What are you looking for?' He is the answer to which every human heart is the question. Perhaps the greatest challenge is that the answer of how to follow Him is not an indubitable truth and sometimes we do not perceive our own hidden, unconscious, pre-rational motivations which see happiness as the prompt fulfillment of our instinctual needs.

What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?
Reading, playing basketball with our seminary team, and getting together with family and friends.

What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston?
Eucharistic Adoration.

Back to Meet Our Seminarians

Ryan O'Connell
City
Ipswich
State
MA
High School
St. John's Prep, Danvers, MA
College
Bowdoin College
Seminary Attending
Class Year
Pre-Theology II