School: St. John Paul II Catholic Mission
2410 S. Smith Road, SW
Gainesville, GA 30504
Engineering Seminary – Blog of David DesPres
I was born in Rockdale County and I lived near the Monastery of the Holy Spirit the first six years of my life. My family then moved to south Newton County to be close to the S.O.L.T. community there. In this community, I grew up going to daily Mass, praying frequently, and having get togethers with many Catholic families on a regular basis. I have four siblings, three sisters and one brother, all younger. My mother homeschooled all of us which meant that I did not wake up before 9AM until my senior year of highschool. I graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in electrical engineering.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I have been a martial artist since I was four years old. I have a third degree blackbelt in Karate, a white belt in Judo, and I have also trained in Kali and Krav Maga. I began learning guitar in middle school, and now I can play bass, cajon, and drums as well. I really enjoying swimming, having competed throughout high school. I also like swing dancing, a skill I picked up in college.
What is one of your favorite scriptures?
The Scripture I go back to the most is Matthew 6: 25-34. It reminds me of how I need to rely on God for everything in my life, and how I should not waste my time worrying about the vanities of the world.
Who is your favorite saint and why?
My favorite saint fluctuates but right now, I am probably closest to St. Maria Goretti. She is such a beautiful and simple witness to the lengths we should guard ourselves against impurity. In a world broken sexually in so many ways, she is a shining light for those struggling in this area who can rely on her powerful intercession.
In a nutshell, what is your vocation story? How did you feel called to the priesthood?
Having grown up in a very Catholic environment, I had thought about the priesthood as a kid. I did not seriously consider it until a retreat my freshmen year at Georgia Tech, although I quickly put those thoughts behind me. After coming back from a study abroad after my sophomore year which was a low point in my faith, I started praying a daily rosary and attending daily Mass. I encountered a priest at a Focus conference who called me out on my discernment and God worked in my prayer to reaffirm my vocation. From there, I
What is seminary life like for you?
Seminary life for me has always been a challenging busy that arises from the immersive nature of seminary. Unlike college, where the institution cares mainly about your academics, the seminary cares that you are balanced in your whole life. You are not just going to classes, but praying, exercising, developing friendships, doing ministry, etc. You are fully immersed in an environment that allows you to grow in living a well-rounded life. A true gift, albeit one that is sometimes difficult.
What do you look forward to about being a priest?
I look forward to walking with individuals through their individual journeys. I want to teach people how to pray, and how to recognize God working in their lives. I am also excited to be able to minister through the Sacraments, to bring people to Christ through these supernatural signs.
What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?
First and foremost, pray. If you remain faithful to prayer, God will reveal to you His plan. In your prayer, you must be honest before God, you should be willing to tell God not only the things that are going well, but especially the places where you are uncomfortable. Another thing that helped me was the idea that if I went in one direction, I would go as far as I could until God redirected me. It is easier for God to change the path through which we move towards him, than to get us moving in the first place. Translation: If you’re thinking about priesthood, put all your effort into discerning it, and let God tell you to stop.