Current Seminarians

Jonathan Puckett

Diocese of Peoria, Illinois


December 28

Ordination Year


Home Town

Richland, Mississippi

Home Parish

St. Matthew, Champaign, Illinois


University of Southern Mississippi (English; History)

Graduate Degree

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Master of Science in Library and Information Science)




Hiking, fishing, reading, genealogy research


I enjoy traveling and have visited 13 countries.

Favorite Saint

St. Thomas More

Vocation Story

I became Catholic as a senior in high school after a friend took me to Mass. Raised in a nominally Baptist family, I was struck with wonder at the Mass, and that day I had an encounter with Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I converted to the Catholic faith after attending RCIA, coming into Full Communion during the Easter Vigil in 2016. I first felt called to the priesthood following this conversion, and in particular while in Eucharistic Adoration.

Not wanting to mistake the initial zeal of a newfound faith with a call to Holy Orders, I waited several years and completed bachelor’s programs at the University of Southern Mississippi. All this time, a gentle nudging in my heart urged me toward the priesthood. Gazing upon Our Eucharistic Lord granted me much consolation where there had been doubt. In August 2020, I moved to Illinois to continue my education. In the second week after my arrival, I visited Ven. Fulton J. Sheen’s shrine at Peoria’s cathedral and entrusted my stay in the Midwest to his prayers. Within a month, Ven. Sheen provided me with a spiritual advisor, and I received the clarity and peace necessary to enter the seminary. For me, discerning my vocation has been a gradual process of abandonment to God.