Hello! My name is Charlie W. Jarosik and I belong to St. Stephen the Martyr parish in Omaha. I was born in Kearney, Nebraska, but my family has moved a few times around the mid-west. Since we came to Omaha we have never left! My parents are Kevin and Deborah Jarosik, and I am the second oldest of two brothers and three younger sisters. St. Stephen the Martyr is the largest parish in the Nebraska with over 13,000 members and they have been very gracious and welcoming community ever since we have moved here in 2002.
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when I felt that the Lord was calling me to discern priesthood, but rather a culmination of events that have lead me somewhere quite beautiful. Throughout my youth I had always been intrigued by the man in the colorful robes that I saw every Sunday, and more and more I yearned to learn more. I eventually become an altar server and then a Eucharistic Minister at Mount Michael Benedictine where I attended for my high school education and graduated in 2014. The Benedictine monks did have a lot of influence on my spiritual life, but even then I felt I was not sure if the Lord was calling me to be a priest.
I attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and studied Management Information Systems at the Peter Kiewit Institute for my freshman year of college. I also was an intern at Alvine and Engineering during my first year at UNO. It soon became apparent that working with technology didn’t ever seem to be enough. I kept feeling as if there was so much more I could do to help people, and these words kept being re-echoed in my head “Come, follow Me,” Jesus said “and I will make you fishers of men.” Mt 4:19. Over the last year I had the opportunity to do mission work with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and the Sisters for Life in New York City and Connecticut. I also received the opportunity to attend the SEEK Conference in Nashville, TN, and I receive so much advice, prayers, encouragement but most importantly, love. It was when I peered into the heart of those who had very little that I saw that what they and the world truly needed was love that what was not limited and bounded by circumstance. I realized that what people truly need is the infinite love and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am expecting that seminary will be filled with fraternity, counsel, intimacy in the sacraments, study, prayer, but also love in so many ways. This community is where I believe the Lord desires for me to learn more about His Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but also to learn more about His will for love in my life.
I am excited to begin auditioning and possibly singing in Schola Cantorum, play guitar and piano, study new languages and cultures and to possibly even discover new things as I am always open to try.
For those discerning a call to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, I would encourage you to remember the words of our Lord and that Saint Pope John Paul II always reiterated during his papacy “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” Isaiah 41:10. Sometimes the only way to truly discern is to apply and at least attend seminary. Even as I leave I am not sure of the Lord’s will, but what I do know is that I trust Him and that His will is for my joy as well as yours. To quote a favorite poet of mine “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost