This month we caught up with BCS Alumni, Kirby Longo. After hanging up the phone, I was struck with two feelings; one, this guy is going to be a great priest, and secondly like I was talking to an old friend.
It is hard to imagine what it might be like to receive a call from God. Most of us have heard or read of someone’s experience, and maybe thought it might be a bit mystical. But after listening to Kirby’s story about how he felt called to go to seminary, it felt more tangible. Not any less powerful, just relatable.
Kirby said he first felt the call to become a priest when he was finishing his senior year at BCCHS. After graduation he decided to go to Carroll College and study history. While there he continued to feel called to become a priest. His story doesn’t end with a “bolt of lightning or a voice from heaven,” but with a feeling of clarity and certainty of direction after years of long conversations through prayer. Kirby said “The choice would likely have been easier if there had been a lightning bolt to punctuate the decision.”
When Kirby entered seminary his bishop only asked him to commit to one year. Kirby said, “At the end of that year, I felt called to one more. Seminary proceeded in that manner, without certainty but with the peace to keep moving forward, until I found myself coming upon ordination. I asked God for the grace of certainty before I was ordained and I received it.” His story struck me as simple, and at the same time it was an amazing lesson. It was testimony to keep listening, keep praying, and keep your heart open. “Trust that God knows our hearts and will not lead us astray.” He shared, “there are different layers to the “calling.” The most important calling is the call to follow Christ. We are all called to be disciples.”
At the end of our conversation, it was obvious; I just met an ordinary guy, called to live an extraordinary life in service of others. Kirby continues his path to become a priest at St. Johns Vianney Seminary in Denver, Colorado. He currently is a Deacon, and will finish his final year of seminary next spring. Kirby will be ordained in June 2017.