Benjamin Johnson

Ben JohnsonParish: Most Blessed Sacrament Parish, Oshkosh

Birth Date: June 22

Seminary: Mundelein Seminary

1000 E Maple Avenue
Mundelein IL 60060-1967

Theology II


Patron: St. Francis Xavier


What do you want on your pizza?

Buffalo sauce, ranch, and chicken.

Tell us about a great experience that you had during the summer of 2017.

While I was studying Spanish, I got to travel around and see a lot of San Antonio TX on the weekends and between studies. I walked along the Riverwalk, visited some churches and parks, and even visited the Alamo a few times.

How would you describe the priesthood to a non-believer?

Simply stated, I believe a priest is someone who lives to serve, teach, guide, and love. But to give a more in-depth explanation to a non-believer, I would say that priesthood is ... paradoxical. In the priesthood, one sacrifices his own life for others, yet he finds it returned to him greater and more magnanimous than before. He is celibate, yet by this celibacy he gives life to others. He is father to none, yet father to thousands. He is always on the clock, yet he finds complete rest in the briefest moments. He is an anchor for others, yet frequently on the move. He is an obedient servant, yet freer than most. Whether you are a believer or a non-believer, priesthood is paradoxical. Fortunately, everyone loves a good paradox.

Divine Providence is God's active protection and guidance in our lives. How have you seen Providence in your life?

For most of my life, my faith was shaky at best. At worst, it was nonexistent. In high school I became the stereotypical know-it-all, cynical, skeptical teenager. It was only by God's Divine Providence, working through various people in my life, that I was able to return wholly to the faith. I began to ask Him, "What was I made for?" I went to the Milwaukee School of Engineering thinking my calling would be in what I am good at, which is math and science. Eventually I found myself drawn away from that life. Bit by bit, Providence opened my eyes to two things regarding my own vocation: I knew I wanted to be as close to God as I possibly could get in this life, and I knew I wanted to help others -- heal them -- if possible, whether in body, mind, or soul. Eventually, through the process we call discernment, I found myself open to the possibility of priesthood. I became a seminarian who went looking for closeness to God and clarity of vocation, and I stayed because I found the answers. Providence continued to guide me even when I wavered. Now, following His guidance, I can say that I believe I am called to serve, to teach, to guide, to love, and to give life as a priest.

Share an interesting fact about your middle school years.

At some point in middle school I took archery classes. I thought it was the coolest thing. Unfortunately, there is no archery range at Mundelein Seminary.

What parish and diocesan movements have inspired you as a disciple?

Two years ago, I had a great and inspirational time helping the Duc in Altum silent high school retreat in Menasha, and the TEC retreat in Green Bay.

Who are your teams?

I do not follow sports so I am going to say Han Solo and Chewbacca. They make a pretty good team. The Fellowship of the Ring is another good team.

What is your favorite day on the Liturgical Calendar?

Nothing can top the Paschal Triduum.

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?

St. Francis Xavier.