This Week’s Focus: The Priesthood of Jesus Christ
Responding to the Call of Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength!
Greetings in the Lord!
My name is Fr. Clay Ludwig, the vocation director for the Diocese of St. Augustine. It is with great joy to visit you all at Queen of Peace Catholic Community on the weekend of August 20-21. I will preach all the Masses, and, after the Sunday 5:30 pm Mass, I will host a dinner for all young men in high school and older who are considering a call to the priesthood.
From the very beginning, my parents, Carl and Suzy, instilled the seeds of faith within my older brother, sister, and myself. The holiness of my family is the foundation of my call to the priesthood.
Although it was my junior year at Bishop Kenny High School, I began integrating the faith as my own and developing a personal prayer life. In frequenting the sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession, I encountered Jesus’ love for me.
The joy of being saved by Jesus became more and more evident in my life. I would ask Jesus after Holy Communion this simple prayer: “Lord, what do you want me to do with my life, and once I know, give me the grace and courage to accept it?” Slowly but surely, the whispering voice of “what about priesthood?” would echo in my heart and mind. At first, there was significant resistance and fear, but the more I was asking, seeking, and knocking for God’s will in my life, the more God gave me the grace and courage to seriously consider this question as my vocation and path to holiness.
I was ordained a priest on June 20, 2020. Priesthood is an incredible gift God has given me, and I love being a priest for this Diocese. It was what I was born to do!
Now, as vocation director, I have the privilege of traveling throughout the Diocese to different parishes, schools, and campus ministries to promote a culture of vocations. No matter what Jesus is calling you to do with your life, He wants you to be happy, and living for Jesus is our way to ultimate happiness and fulfillment.
When he was first elected pope, Pope St. John Paul II went on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, encouraging all young people: “Do not be afraid to open the door of your heart to Christ!” I echo these words to you all. Listen to him invite you: “Come Follow Me!”
May we all take these life-changing words to heart and receive the grace and courage to respond.
Please know the vocations team of the Diocese and I are here to walk with you on your journey of discipleship to discern God’s will for your life.
I look forward to meeting you all soon!
In His Love,
Fr. Clay Ludwig