Mr. Ian Gaston
Year in Formation
St. Norbert (Orange)
Favorite TV Series
Avatar the Last Airbender
The Lord of the Rings
I was born in Virginia, but moved out to California pretty soon after I was born. My father was in the navy, but he and my mom were originally from Orange County, so when he got out of the navy we moved back here. I was born on July 11, the memorial of St. Benedict. I went to Servite High School in Anaheim, and then attended Emerson College in Boston for two years before entering seminary. Towards the end of high school, I was pretty involved in the youth ministry program at my parish, St. Norbert’s. The ministry was very significant in my own discernment, even after I had already entered seminary.
What are some of the factors that led to your decision to enter the seminary and discern the question of a vocation to the priesthood?
One of the biggest factors that led me to my decision to apply to enter seminary was the state of the culture in the summer of 2015. I wanted to make a change for the better, and when I asked God what He wanted me to do about it, He made it clear that it was time to go to seminary.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
One of the priests who most influenced me to enter the seminary didn’t even know he did so! After a prayer experience with the Lord, he preached a homily the following day that confirmed all that the Lord had said to me the night before. I decided on a bench outside his church after Mass and a little bit of adoration that I was going to apply for seminary. Sometimes, when the Lord uses us, it is totally unknown to us. The Lod used this priest’s faithfulness to Church teaching and skill for preaching to bring me to apply to seminary.me calm, and kept me on track.
Describe the moment that you knew you wanted to take the next steps to become a priest?
One significant moment wherein the call to the priesthood was solidified for me was after I entered the seminary. In the Summer of 2016, on a World Youth Day pilgrimage, in Wadowice, at the Church where Pope St. John Paul II was baptized, during Mass, the words from the Responsorial Psalm leaped out at me: “I have called, Lord, and you have answered.” At that moment, I really began to desire the priesthood.