Seminarian Frank Pusateri

 

 

My name is Frank Pusateri. I have been a parishioner at St. Walter’s my entire life. I attended Children’s Faith Formation. In high school, I participated in St. Walter Youth Ministry (SWYM). I was an altar server, an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, and a Sacristan. I volunteered with Vacation Bible Camp and was a catechist assistant at Children’s Faith Formation. The Faith, as lived in a welcoming parish community, is an integral part of my life.

My earliest memories of my faith are of the images of the Madonna and the Infant of Prague in my grandma’s house. At age seven, I became interested in my faith on a deeper level at the time I was preparing to receive my First Eucharist. I remember making a little altar in my house and praying the night before this big event. I also remember wearing a Scapular to my public school outside my clothes. My friends thought that since I wore a scapular, it meant I would become a priest, and one girl even asked me to heal her finger. As silly as it sounds, this was what planted the idea of priesthood in my head. And finally receiving my First Eucharist was one of the happiest days of my life.

Throughout middle school and high school, I went through various periods of being more or less involved in my faith. In the back of my mind, there was always the thought that I would start my journey to priesthood when I finished high school. I ended up deciding to go to Franciscan University of Steubenville for college. The idea of vocation would alternately plague all my thoughts and leave me numb. At a silent retreat, I was at a Holy Hour, and I told God that I was open to whatever vocation He would call me to. Within a minute, I felt a voice say, “What about diocesan priesthood?” I was so angry I left the chapel. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t honestly ask God about my vocation for a while.

After college, I began looking for jobs unsuccessfully, and that summer, I agreed to be a Totus Tuus teacher two days before the training started. It was one of the best experiences in my life. Within a week of hanging out with the Joliet seminarians, any distaste for diocesan priesthood was removed. I continued to see that if I was being honest with myself, I was feeling a call to the priesthood. My original plan was to work at a job for a year, and then go to seminary, but I eventually realized that the extra year was just an excuse. I applied for and was accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Joliet in December 2016.

I just completed my first year of seminary at the Josephinum where I will be returning this fall for my second year of Pre-Theology. After teaching Totus Tuus the past two summers, I was able to share my experience with and love for the program by helping to train new teachers. I also spent my summer exploring another aspect of pastoral ministry by working as seasonal help at Assumption Cemetery in Wheaton.

I would like to thank my parents, the priests and parishioners of St. Walter’s Parish, the Knights of Columbus, and the Serra Club of DuPage for their prayers and support as I continue on this journey of discerning the priesthood!