Priesthood for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

vocations@rocpriest.org | 585-271-7240

Jeffrey Chichester

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2012 headshots of discerners living at Becket Hall.
Home Parish: Saint Luke the Evangelist, Livingston County.

Year you entered the seminary? What did you do before you entered the seminary? Why did you enter the seminary?
I began formation for the priesthood in 2011. I studied biology and ecology in college and worked in various positions in the field of ecology and environmental science. I enjoyed this very much, as I always had a love for the natural world and the outdoors. Aside from the pure delight that I felt in my chosen profession, I also felt satisfied that I was carrying out an essential service to society and the world around me.

What was one of the major influences leading you to consider priesthood?
At a certain point, however, I had to acknowledge the nagging feeling that although I was very happy with what I was doing, deep down in the very core of my being it just didn’t feel like I was doing with my life what God had intended.  Soon after this, I realized something: even though I was doing something very good for myself and my community, I never included God in these plans of mine.  At that point I prayed. I prayed to God and asked what He would have me do:  Should I continue doing what I had been happily doing, in the sure knowledge that I had His blessings, or was I meant for something else; something unrealized as of yet?  It wasn’t too long afterward that I began to think about the priesthood, thoughts I realized I had experienced periodically throughout my life that needed to be explored.

Throughout my discernment and formation, I have relied upon many saints for inspiration and intercession.  The sacrifice of Saint Maximilian Kolbe has touched me deeply, ever since I heard of his story; I have also depended on the prayers of my fellow Upstate New Yorkers, Saints Marianne Cope and Kateri Tekakwitha.  Recently I have been attempting to incorporate St. Benedict’s rule into my life.  As such, I have been praying for his intercessions along with another Benedictine, St. Bede the Venerable.

Other Work

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