September Meeting Summary: Father John Solomon
For our September meeting, we heard the story of Father John Solomon, a newly ordained priest in the Wilmington diocese. Unlike our past few speakers who have told how they incorporate their faith in their professional lives, Fr Solomon is unique in the sense that his vocation is his faith.
Although he grew up in a Catholic family, Fr. Solomon had never thought of joining the priesthood. “Becoming a cop or a layer, that’s what I thought I wanted,” he recalled. It wasn’t until his senior year of high school, after breaking up with his girlfriend, that he began to seriously consider joining a seminary. Despite some reservations, Solomon enrolled at St. Andrew’s College Seminary after his graduation. Due to the long period of study (8 years), Solomon was able to decide gradually and let his curiosity grow. “You’re [at the seminary] because God is calling you,” he explained. “It’s all about waiting and letting things germinate.”
Not only did Solomon grow to love his studies, but he was also rewarded with the rare opportunity to study at the North American College in Rome. There, Solomon got to meet the Pope in person and celebrate mass with him. Most importantly, Solomon believes that his time in Rome helped him gain a “universal” and international vision of the church as a whole. “We can get caught up in a smaller mindset,” he said. “God works everywhere, all over the world.”
Looking back at his journey, Fr. Solomon said, “It was harder than I thought it would be, but it has been very rewarding.” However, although his time at the seminary is complete, he still acknowledges that he has a lot to learn. “It’s one thing to learn about how to counsel couples for marriage, and it’s another thing to actually do it in real life.” Additionally, there are also the day-to-day tasks of running a parish: “How to deal with a roof leaking…they didn’t have a class on that,” he laughed.