Denny JacobDcn. Denny Jacob

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Parish: St. William, Waukesha

Seminary:  Saint Francis de Sales

Birthday:  August 21

Intercessor: Saint Francis Assisi and Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Tell us your vocation story:

I grew up in a very Catholic family. In my early childhood my parents took me to the church every Sunday which was the start of my faith in God. I remember two experiences in particular that helped plant the seed of my vocation, without my even knowing it. The first one happened when I was a very young child and had been making noises during the Mass. Afterwards the priest gently picked me up and told me “one day you will become a good priest.” My mother reminds me of this story to this day. The second one occurred when I was around fifteen years old. A beggar came to our home and asked for food. While he was eating, he looked at me and said, “one day you will cross the sea and serve people.” I had no idea how true that would be.

 As a teenager, I realized I could grow spiritually in other ways, not only through prayer and spiritual reading—but also through my parish activities, charities, and mission work. For example, when I visited someone in a nursing home, spent time with them and prayed with them, I could feel the presence of God there. Because I was active in parish activities, the priest from my parish suggested that I may have a vocation to be a priest. “Why don't you think of it?” he said. I actually ignored that but a couple months later I began thinking about the priesthood, wondering how I could become a missionary.

Eventually I met a priest from the community of St. Paul with whom I had a good conversation about the priesthood and missionary life. As a result of that conversation I decided to join the community of St. Paul. They send me to the Dominican Republic in 2011 where the community has a mission church. I was 24 years old at the time.

 My life in the Dominican Republic was very difficult at first because of the different life style.  But by the time I left there five years later I was comfortable doing such various activities as liturgy of the word, visiting the sick, and building latrines. I had a great experience over there. Through all these activities my relationship with God was growing and that relationship developed in me a strong desire to be a priest.

What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?

There are so many needs and sometimes I feel so limited and unworthy. These are challenges I am personally facing. But if God called me, He will give me the courage to answer that call.  

What is your favorite Psalm verse and why?

Plasm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Because God has a plan for our life, we are wise to follow it.

What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?

Watching movies or TV programs. Also, hanging out with friends or traveling.

Where do you like to go to pray?

I don’t have any favorite place to pray; wherever it is comfortable and peaceful I would like to be there for prayer.

Where do you do your best studying?

In the library and in my own room..

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?

I have two favorites. I have been fascinated with the life of St. Francis of Assisi. When I was a child, I read the biography of St. Francis – to this day it is one of my favorite biographies. His humility, his love for the people and for nature really strike me.

My second favorite is Mother Teresa. She was acclaimed as a living Saint by people of many faiths. I am also an admirer of her because she found such great satisfaction caring for God’s people. The helpless, poor, and disabled people were her strength and spirit. That is the kind of person I would like to be.

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