Austin Thomas

School:

Notre Dame Seminary
2901 S. Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118

School: Notre Dame Seminary
2901 S. Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118

Background

I was born in Long Island, New York but moved down to Lawrenceville, Georgia when I was 4! My parents are both from Kerala which is a state in South India! I grew up going to St. Alphonsa in Loganville which is a Syro – Malabar Catholic Church. I have one sibling, an older sister. She is 3 years older than me. I graduated from the University of Georgia back in 2020 with my degree in Psychology.

What are your hobbies and interests?

I love sports! I love playing basketball and watching basketball, football, and soccer. I love to read and spend time with my friends. I love to go try out new food places with them.

What is one of your favorite scriptures?

This is a hard question because it depends on the situation. I would say right now it would be John 8:26 or Jeremiah 29:11.

Who is your favorite saint and why?

This is also a difficult question because there are so many inspirational saints and it depends on the situation! I really like St. John Vianney and St. Faustina. Reading the Diary of St. Faustina really helped me understand God’s mercy more. She also is a great role model in perseverance especially in spiritual dryness or darkness.

In a nutshell, what is your vocation story? How did you feel called to the priesthood?

I was involved in my parish and a Catholic youth ministry called Anointing Fire throughout high school and college. It really helped me deepen my relationship with Jesus. I was able to go out, minister, and help give the love of God to other youth just like me at different retreats. As my personal relationship began to deepen, I felt this invitation to the priesthood as I would spend time going to Mass or in Adoration. I took a gap year after I graduated college to discern deeper and just do ministry work in Anointing Fire. It helped me spend more time in prayer and gain clarity in what the Lord was asking of me. Now, I am here!

What is seminary life like for you? I’ve only been in seminary for a month now but I have enjoyed it!

There is a lot of structure and discipline which is needed! I really like the fraternity as well. My favorite part of seminary has to be how easily accessible all the sacraments are. There is daily Mass, Adoration, and Confession.

What do you look forward to about being a priest?

I hope to be a reflection of Christ. I hope that I will be able to reflect His love, mercy, peace, and joy to all those I encounter as a priest!

What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?

Don’t think too hard about it. One of the things our rector, Fr. Jim tells us is that confusion is the first sign of the devil. The devil does not want priests so don’t think too much. Don’t be afraid, don’t be anxious. God is with you.  If you feel even a little desire in your heart towards priesthood, pray about it, reach out to the local vocations director and see if you can get more information. Honestly, the best place to discern is in the seminary. We are saturated in prayer and the sacraments. There’s no guarantee that I will be a priest but I know that now that I am here, I am in the best place to follow God’s Will. I know that I will be holier now than when I walked in.