Peter Stauffer, a 2021 graduate of Downingtown East High School, started his journey of priestly formation at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia on August 19.

Peter first felt the potential calling to the priesthood when he was 10 years old.

“I was on a pilgrimage to Fatima with the Archdiocesan Boy Choir of Philadelphia, when our chaplain, Father Stephen DeLacy, asked some of us if we would feel open or even called to the priesthood,” he explained. “I was one who expressed an openness and even potential call to the priesthood that day. Since then, I have felt the call off and on, year after year. It was just in the past year that I took real action by applying for admission to the seminary, and praise God for my acceptance!”

Peter’s main consultant was Father DeLacy as he guided him through discernment last year. “Through him, everything seemed like a green light to enter the seminary, and that is where I am right now.”

He said some of the best advice Father DeLacy gave him was when he explained to him that just as marriage is a vocational call, so the priesthood is very much a call to self-sacrifice for the Church. “He showed me how the seminary is a place to seriously discern the priesthood, which has definitely made my decision much clearer, and I feel confident with this path,” Peter stated.

Peter is looking forward to growing as a man at the seminary. “I am really looking forward to letting God make me humbler, more caring, stronger, smarter, deeper in love, and bolder in proclaiming the Gospel. I don’t know yet all that God has planned for me at the seminary, but I couldn’t be more excited to find out,” he said.

His parents are very excited as Peter starts his journey. “We’ve encouraged all of our children to be open to the priesthood or religious life since they were young. We understand that his time at the seminary will be a time of discernment, listening for God to direct his path. It’s gratifying to know that Peter wants to serve God in some way and is continuing to mature in his faith. We are also very appreciative of all the well wishes and prayers from our parish family,” the Stauffers said.

Peter, be assured of the prayers of the Saint Elizabeth community as you start at Saint Charles! God bless you on your journey!

-Sara Richardson