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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Have you ever considered that God may be calling you to the priesthood?
Father Jacob DuMont, LC (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

P. Jacob DuMont , L.C.
Fr. Jacob DuMont , LC

Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan where winters are icy and often drag on for months, I formed a strong will and character as a child. I remember walking over a mile to school every morning for a number of years even in the winter time. I attended St. Jude elementary school from kindergarten to 8th grade and thank the positive example of many of my teachers, especially two nuns that I had in the 3rd and 4th grade. They helped me to form solid work and study habits as well as a deeper spirit of discipline. I remember once having to stay after school to write over 100 times “I will behave better and keep silence during the school breaks” because I had started a water fight in the boys’ bathroom. The close guidance of my teachers helped me to keep on the straight and narrow path during my adolescent years.

I also have so much to thank my parents for! My father worked hard as an artist in a commercial design company so as to support our family and ensure that we had a solid Catholic education and all the means we needed to excel in life. My mother stayed at home where she spent hours of self-giving: helping me, my older brother Matt and my younger sister LeAnn with our homework assignments, driving us to our sports practices, music practices, etc. Mom and Dad also taught us kids how to pray not only with their words, but above all with their example. I remember well the times that my dad motivated me to go to weekday Mass by taking me out to breakfast afterwards. His active participation in the Mass and his desire to receive Christ in the Eucharist helped me to grow in my faith and in my own relationship with our Lord. I remember my mom used to read us different stories of the lives of the saints and encourage us to imitate them in our own lives. Of course, I also found it difficult at times to pray. Mom and dad liked to pray a family Rosary at least once a week. It wasn’t always easy to leave sports, friends, or other distractions aside in order to pray.

I definitely wasn’t a “holy Joe” who sat around reading pious books and praying novenas. Those who knew me well would probably describe me as “restless” and “mischievous”. I participated in a wide range of extracurricular activities such as playing on the school basketball team, working as a caddy at the local golf country club, delivering newspapers in the neighborhood, practicing my guitar, participating in the Church youth group, teasing or wrestling with my older brother, and simply hanging out with friends.

The Call

In July 1992 I was attending a national convention for families put on by the Couple to Couple League (CCL). Both my parents taught natural family planning classes for the CCL and in 1992 the national convention was held in my hometown in
P. Jacob DuMont , L.C.
Fr Jacob assists Archbishop Wilton Gregory in a Mass at the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi’s Office of Apostolic Works in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Michigan. On the penultimate day of the 4-day event, a priest from the Legionaries of Christ came to give a talk to the group of young adults about the vocation. This priest impressed me a lot and the Holy Spirit definitely worked on me, because I felt for the first time in my life that God could be calling me to the priesthood. After his talk, the Legionary told our group that he would be available for confession and I jumped in line. While waiting in line, the thought of the priesthood soon became clouded by my personal plans for the summer – basketball tournaments, swimming at the beach, spending time with family and friends, etc. After I had confessed and received God’s forgiveness and absolution, I got up and started to leave the confessional, but no sooner had I opened the door than the Legionary priest asked the question I feared was coming… “Have you ever considered that God may be calling you to the priesthood?”

Providence had its way and one week later I was in Cheshire, Connecticut visiting the high school seminary for the Legionaries of Christ. The atmosphere radiated prayer, work, and charity. More than anything, though, I found Christ there and he found me. A couple weeks later I spoke with my parents on the telephone and told them that I believed God was calling me to the priesthood. It was not easy for them to say “yes” –my mom couldn’t stop crying on the phone– but they put their faith in God and trusted that this was his will. I will always be thankful to my parents for their loving support, their faith, and their generous sacrifice. Because of their sacrifice and love, they have offered Christ and his Church a future priest!

The Response

It’s definitely exciting and a true challenge to leave behind one’s personal plans in life and to allow God to be in charge of calling the shots. His plans often extend far beyond the meager ones that we have for ourselves. When I entered the Legion’s high school seminary, I soon came to realize how much God was able to do in my life and in the lives of so many people I knew: family, friends, and more. I began to see how his grace was taking effect in my life and in the lives of the souls that he had entrusted into my care.

During the summer break following my first year of the high school seminary I attended a youth conference at Steubenville College in Ohio. My older brother and some of his friends had asked me to join their youth group and help with part of the practical organization details of the conference. We helped set up tents, chairs, booths, etc. During this time I came to see the difficulties that many of these young men and women were going through in life. They asked me questions about my own experience of Christ, the sacraments, and life in the high school seminary. Having truly experienced Christ in my own life, I wanted to give him to others. Seeing the needs of these young people gave me even more of a motivation to give myself generously to God and the service of his Church.

Full Configuration with Christ

Throughout my formation years in the seminary I received an ample amount of blessings: serving a Mass for Pope John Paul II on the feast of Pentecost 1998 in Rome, working as a dean of students and teacher at our high school seminary in New Hampshire for four years, studying in Rome, and so many more. I have so much to thank God for! The best way I can show my gratitude is by continuing to know, love, and imitate him in my life so as to become Christ for others. I will strive to fulfill the words of St. Paul who says, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”.

Fr. Jacob DuMont was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA on July 31, 1977. He went to St. Jude Elementary School and completed his freshman year of high school at West Catholic. When he was 15 years old, he felt God’s call to the priesthood and joined the Legionaries’ high school seminary in Cheshire, CT. From 1994-1997 he completed two years of novitiate and one year of classical humanities in Cheshire, CT. He then continued his studies in Rome from 1997-1999 where he obtained his bachelorette in philosophy. From 1999-2003 he worked as a dean of students and professor at the Legionaries’ high school seminary in Center Harbor, NH. He then returned to Rome for a master’s in philosophy and his theological studies. Since the summer of 2006, he has been working in Atlanta, GA as an assistant to the territorial director.

This vocation story was originally published in the book "Vivir para Cristo"



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