We welcomed Father Steven Arena to our parish Monday, June 22, 2016. The Diocese of Harrisburg recently featured a great article about him if you would like to learn more about our new Parochial Vicar.
This article appeared on the Diocesan website June 15, 2016. Read it here
For Father Steven Arena, a reluctant yes to his catechist’s invitation to attend the Mount 2000 retreat eventually led to a resounding yes to God’s invitation to the priesthood.
Father Arena describes his upbringing in the faith as a relatively normal Catholic family life. When his family moved from the Frederick, Md., area to Mont Alto when Steven was in elementary school, they joined St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Waynesboro.
“I was going to Sunday School and my family was practicing the faith, but we weren’t what you would call very devout Catholics,” he said.
During his junior year at Waynesboro Area Senior High School, Steven received a phone call from his Confirmation catechist, Judy Clement, asking if he would assist her at the Mount 2000 retreat for the incoming Confirmation students.
“I was thinking, ‘Oh boy. I don’t really want to do this, but I can’t say no to her,’” Father Arena recalled.
The retreat enlivened his faith.
“All of the things I had learned in religious education stuck in such a way that I began to take my faith very, very seriously,” he said.
By the time of his high school graduation, he had been accepted to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where he planned to major in History and become a teacher. But then the Lord called him.
“Here I am, ready to head off to college, and the idea just kind of popped into my head, ‘What about the priesthood?’” Father Arena said. “I was confused. I wasn’t certain where to go. But what made me realize that I had to take this call seriously was that it wasn’t going away, and I knew it wasn’t coming from me.”
He went to Quo Vadis Days, and in the silence and prayer, he heard the Lord clearly calling him. He put aside his college plans and eventually entered St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
“I can honestly say that there is nothing else I’d rather do with my life than be a priest,” Father Arena said.
Click here to read Five Men Give Themselves to God’s Call to Priesthood
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