Mark McGeary

2017-18: Theology III
Mundelein Seminary, Illinois

My name is Mark McGeary and I have been a parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi in West Des Moines and the Basilica of St John since I arrived in Des Moines in 2008. While I have been a practicing Catholic my entire life, I cannot say that I have always understood what that meant. Like many Catholics I went through the motions during Mass with a faithful belief that I was fulfilling my obligation. I hate to admit it, but I went to Mass only as a way of showing respect to Jesus for what he had done for me. I did not have the ability, or the support group around me, to help me understand the beauty of the Catholic Mass. That all started to change in 2008 thanks to the grace of Jesus Christ through his one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. 

After 23 years in the advertising business, I had become caught up in the false gods of the secular world. As my world started to crumble around me, I ran to church as I often did in times of trouble, only this time I ran into confession. It had been many years since I sought out the sacrament of reconciliation, and this time something deep inside me started to change. The Holy Spirit began to open up the Bible in ways that I could understand it, my prayer life flourished and a relationship with Jesus began. I found I had an insatiable appetite for learning the Catholic faith, and I quickly found that what I did for a living was beginning to clash with my morals. I was drawn to daily Mass and soon noticed that my peace and joy came from my time at Mass. St. Augustine once said "When you fall in love with God what else is there" I began to surrender my life to God and entertain the thought of the priesthood. After two years of discernment and then six months of trying to talk myself out of it, I was accepted by Bishop Pates to enter the seminary in the fall of 2013. I ask for your prayers as I continue to pray for HIS church.