I have prayed since the very beginning of my life, “Lord I don’t want what I want; I only want what you want.” In middle school I began asking Mary, “Bring me to the foot of the cross so that Jesus could be my focus to finding His vocation for me.” As a young kid, I hadn’t quite realized the impact of exactly what those two prayers would unfold, but man, was I in for it.

Mr. Luke VanSmoorenburg

Bishop White Seminary, Spokane, WA
College I

Nurturing of my call to the priesthood began at birth with the faith and support of my family. I have prayed since the very beginning of my life, “Lord I don’t want what I want; I only want what you want.” In middle school I began asking Mary, “Bring me to the foot of the cross so that Jesus could be my focus to finding His vocation for me.” As a young kid, I hadn’t quite realized the impact of exactly what those two prayers would unfold, but man, was I in for it.

I have always been extremely blessed and nurtured with Our Blessed Mother’s amazing gift of the rosary. My family has made it a practice to pray it every single night together, making our bonds and focus on the Lord sturdy as well as fruitful. One of those fruits has been the way Jesus has allowed His Blessed Mother to guide me. In high school I began to make the practice of praying the rosary every day, along with other Marian devotions, a top priority in my life. As time went on through high school I began the daily devotion of the Stations of the Cross, which gave me more knowledge of Our Lady and her son. I had a passion to help show the lost children of Our Lord His truth, so I started an evangelization ministry in my high school. It quickly took off and consumed most of my time.

To discern marriage, I dated a few times, but something wasn’t quite there. I discovered my true vocation to the priesthood in a special experience at the end of one relationship. I had occasionally received spiritual prompts to drive to Mount Angel Seminary to pray the stations of the cross in the middle of the night. One such night I drove toward the seminary and parked in the town. I prayed to Our Blessed Mother a very special prayer, asking her for clarity to discern my vocation by being placed at the foot of the cross. Immediately after finishing the prayer three things happened. The bells from Saint Mary’s church nearby began to ring. Then I heard a voice so indescribably loving and merciful say, “It’s time. Come.” Lastly, I received the most miraculous clarity that I could have ever imagined. Our Lord Jesus Christ touched my heart for a singular moment, which overwhelmed me with indescribable amounts of joy, love, and mercy. I discovered the infinite source of peace for every need, in every and any moment.

I have been so miraculously blessed to be able to witness to the love of Our Lord, through Our Blessed Mother Mary. Thank you for your prayers for my seminary formation.