By Pamela Seal
Diocese of Lake Charles
LAKE CHARLES — Soon after Joshua Page received the Sacrament of Confirmation, he said that he committed to being “all in” as a Catholic. That commitment eventually led him to enter the seminary.
Page will advance one step closer to the priesthood on Saturday, June 4, when he is ordained a transitional deacon by Bishop Glen John Provost. The Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
“I first heard God’s call as a student at St. Louis Catholic High School,” said the 26-year-old son of Stephen and Jennifer Page of Sulphur. “I had a deeper conversion around the time of my Confirmation. Once I started praying more, I started hearing the call.”
But Page did more than just pray. He went on retreats and talked to seminarians. He talked to priests about their own priesthood and encourages young men to do the same.
“Call Father Michael Caraway, Director of Vocations. It’s his job to answer your questions,” advised Page, whose discernment continued after entering St. Joseph Seminary College.
“Seminary is not the end but the beginning of formation and discernment,” said Page, who is the only brother to two older sisters. With one more year to go at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, he cannot emphasize enough the importance of prayer to those beginning to discern priesthood.
“Pray, pray, pray. And then pray some more. Attend daily Mass, pray the rosary, participate in Adoration when you get off work,” Page said. “God calls us, so we have to listen to him in prayer.”
Reading Scripture is also a must during discernment. Page suggests focusing on the Gospels now.
“Later in seminary, you will study the whole Bible in depth, even read it cover to cover if you want. There will also be plenty of time for books in the seminary, but always keep reading good books,” he continued.
A few books that served Page well are Confessions of St. Augustine, The Cure d’Ars — Life of St. John Vianney, Imitation of Christ, and Soul of the Apostolate.
It was through his many summer parish assignments that Page has seen himself grow as a seminarian and experience encouragement on his journey.
“Every summer brings new opportunities to learn more about the diocese. A seminarian learns to live more on his own than on a predetermined schedule like at the seminary,” Page noted. “Ultimately, my summer assignments helped me grow toward God and the people of the diocese, who have encouraged me to grow spiritually for them.”
As a parishioner of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church in Sulphur, Page is grateful to his home parish for being “incredibly supportive.”
“The older members of my home parish basically prayed me into seminary. Many have passed, and I now pray for them,” he said. “I am ‘all in’ not only to being a Catholic, but also to be a deacon who serves the bishop, and one day a priest for God and his people.”
At the conclusion of the Liturgy on June 4, the diaconate internship for Page will be announced in addition to new assignments for clergy throughout the Diocese.