Current Seminarians

Michael James

St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago


July 15

Ordination Year


Home Town

Parsippany, NJ

Home Parish

St. George Syro-Malabar Catholic Church of Paterson, NJ


Caldwell University (B.A. in Biology)

Previous Career

Laboratory Coordinator


Music, Badminton and Reading

Favorite Saint

St. John Paul II, St. Margaret Mary, St. Rita of Cascia

Favorite Devotion

I have a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Vocation Story

Growing up, I had always felt a call to serve; the self-fulfillment and gratification of serving others was somehow appealing. So, I decided to act on this calling by embarking on the path of medicine. Yet, little did I know that through a series of events, the Lord would reveal that I was being called to serve His people.

By the age of eighteen, I practically had my life planned out—I would finish college in four years, go off to medical school, complete my residency and then become the next Doctor Oz. A month before entering college, I attended a regional Syro-Malabar conference, which was a life-changing experience. Not only did this conference personally create a new-found love for the Catholic faith, but it also served as the stepping-stone to my priestly vocation.

When I received the call to priesthood, I was subsequently filled with fear and doubt. I kept seeing myself as this sinful, flawed person and questioned how God could be calling me to such a holy vocation. Plus, I already had my life planned out; it seemed absurd to give up medicine for a call that I was unsure to answer. So, I entered Caldwell University and focused on pursuing my medical ambitions. However, even in my attachment to my own will, the call to priesthood remained prominent throughout my undergraduate career.

As each academic year passed, I slowly realized that the Lord was asking me to renounce my own will and take the next step in my discernment. Despite knowing this, I still stubbornly refused to answer His call. I wanted to know with absolute conviction that God was calling me to be His priest. Further, I could not fathom the idea of giving up medicine for the priesthood. During my senior year, I received a message while visiting an adoration chapel: I would help many lives as a physician. But, as a priest, I would help even more lives.

That message penetrated my heart until my college graduation. It had such profound affect that six months later, I fully surrendered and applied to Mundelein Seminary! While I may not know what the future holds, I have never been more at peace with taking this next step in my vocation.

Priest Aspirations

To bring Jesus to people and people to Jesus, particularly through the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation.

How can Mundelein's donors and community pray for you?

1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be for our vocations — that we may continually discern the will of God and not our own desires!