Staff Member: Fr. Stephen Jones
Fr. Stephen Jones
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I grew up in Kokomo, Indiana along with most of my family members. I attended St. Joan of Arc and St. Patrick school and was also a parishioner of St. Joan of Arc. Both sides of the family were small and close knit, and it was not until after high school that family members started to move out of Kokomo, which ended up very providential. Growing up, I played baseball, participated in Boy Scouts, served at Mass with my best friends, played the trumpet for marching and concert band, and our local youth group. After high school, I attended Franciscan University of Steubenville where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Theology. It was at Franciscan that I first met friends from Cincinnati and began to discern joining a diocese I did not grow up in. As that call grew stronger my family also began to move to Cincinnati and the surrounding area. I knew that I was being called to join the Archdiocese and that God in his goodness had even moved some of my old home closer to me.
Growing up, I had always thought the priest had one of the best “jobs” I could imagine, but I never thought that I could be called to the priesthood. In my head, the priesthood was something only the holiest of holy people were called to, and I was just a regular kid. It was during my junior year in high school that God shattered that misconception during a Eucharistic procession at a retreat and I began to seriously discern if God might be calling me to the priesthood.
I have had many priests that helped me to realize a vocation to the priesthood was one of joy, love for the people, and love for God. I also had priests during my years of formation that helped me to understand what it is to be a pastor and priest in the parish. Pastors like Fr. Martin Fox, Fr. Barry Stechschulte, Fr. Alexander Witt, and Fr. Thomas McCarthy all generously gave of their time to help form me as a seminarian, deacon, and future priest. I also had the examples of many holy people such as the catechists, parish office staff, teachers, maintenance staff, and parishioners who have all gifted me with their time and insights with their particular expertise.
I look forward to finally getting to serve the parishes of the Archdiocese as a priest! I have been helping at parishes in many capacities during my time in seminary and the work of serving them in whatever way I can has been a source of great joy in my life and a confirmation of my call. But, no matter what gifts and talents I have been able to give, it will not compare to what I will be able to give as a priest. I will finally be able to offer the people of God the grace of the sacraments which I have loved and depended on my whole life. How can one not be excited and immensely humbled in preparing to be an instrument of God in bringing such healing and life-giving nourishment that comes to us from the sacraments?
As an “adopted” seminarian studying for a Diocese that I did not grow up in, I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for all these years living in the Archdiocese and welcoming me with such kindness into your parishes and your lives. You have made this a new home for me. You have made the decision to be ordained to a lifetime of serving the Archdiocese of Cincinnati both an easy and a joyful one. I cannot wait to serve you as your priest, and I look forward to all the gifts God will give to me through you.