The Novice Becomes a Seminarian

John Sebastian Gutierrez, CSC

Seminarian John Sebastian Gutierrez, CSC

When Vocation E-News caught up with John Sebastian Gutierrez, CSC, the former novice was still settling in at St. Joseph Discernment House at Holy Cross College and beginning the Master of Divinity program at the University of Notre Dame. While it feels great to be back in the community where he discerned his vocation just a few years ago, John Sebastian is now a professed religious and seminarian studying for the priesthood, so things are a bit different. “It’s certainly a different identity,” says John Sebastian, who made his First Profession of Vows on July 29 and is adjusting to his new role. “People look up to you whether you notice it or not, but that is a blessing, too,” he says.

John Sebastian was one of five novices to make First Profession of Vows in the Congregation of Holy Cross on July 29. The Novitiate in Cascade, CO, is a collaborative program for all Holy Cross brother and priest novices in the U.S. During the intensive, spiritual year, novices are engaged in deepening their prayer life and educated in living the vowed life in common, in apostolic service, and in the knowledge of the history, spirituality, character and mission of Holy Cross.

For John Sebastian, actually saying the vows was a high point of becoming a professed religious. “I waited so long to say those vows and that’s what really stood out for me, because it put into words my desire to commit myself to God.”

As a seminarian, John Sebastian recognizes his multiple roles as a theology student and member of the St. Joseph House, Holy Cross and Notre Dame communities who is accessible to others. “My ministry here is to be a witness to students. I’ve chosen to live this life. Maybe if someone is called, I’ll be able to answer their questions and walk with them.”