John Paul Stedwill
Benedictine College, Atchison, KS (Biology and Philosophy)
Backpacking and camping, reading, leatherworking, running and cycling, studying biblical languages, and cooking
St. John Paul II
Whenever I have the opportunity to be outdoors, I find myself in conversation with my patron saint, John Paul II, who inspires me with his contemplative prayer, devotion to the Blessed Mother, zeal for serving young people, and love for encountering God in the beauty of creation. I have also made it a daily devoted of mine to pray St. Charles de Foucauld's Prayer of Abandonment each morning and evening for the grace to surrender more completely to God’s will in my life.
Upon entering high school, I began a personal search to find meaning and purpose in my life. I desired to make a difference in the world, to serve those most in need, and ultimately, I feared living a life that was mundane and mediocre. I had the blessing of watching my own father, a Catholic physician, positively impact countless suffering patients and their families in the hospital which was a source of true inspiration for me. I was motivated to become a physician myself, and already being attracted to a life of discipline and sacrifice that I had learned from years as a high school wrestler, I was also drawn to the possibility of future military service. Thus, my plan to make a difference through serving others in medicine and the armed forces while living a life of adventure and excitement was already taking shape as I completed high school.
As a priest, I look forward to performing the sacraments of healing: reconciliation and anointing of the sick. I also aspire to follow the example of St. John Paul II in helping young people experience the goodness of God though encouraging strong community and encounters with the beauty and wonder of creation.
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Please pray that I may be a faithful priest who daily embraces Christ’s own model of laying down his life for his friends, and that I may keep always present in my mind the realization that my life and vocation are a gift to be given away for Love of Christ.