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 III


Patron: St. Joseph


Are you a dog person or a cat person?
I am very fond of dogs for their companionship, loyalty, and the joy they can bring.

Tell us about a great experience you had during the summer of 2018.
This summer, I participated in the Clinical Pastoral Education program, in which I essentially acted as a hospital chaplain intern. I was blessed to encounter hundreds of people at very different points in their lives and of different faith traditions. I can attest to the truth that when two or more are gathered in His name, these moments bear much fruit. I learned many great lessons from these hundreds of souls I encountered, and I treasure them all in my heart.

Who influenced you the most to think about priesthood?
A professor I had during my last year of high school played a critical role in my reconversion and my eventual full embrace of a life centered on relationship to God and His Church. Ironically, we never talked directly about priesthood, but it was because of our classes and conversations that I finally began to understand faith, prayer, and vocation. Because of this, I was able to eventually cease pursuing what I thought I wanted and begin pursuing what God desired of me. It was his accompaniment and guidance that sparked a true desire in me to share these good and important truths with others. It was no small task to take someone like me who was rather cynical and guide my steps in such an unanticipated direction towards God who is now the center of my life. I am grateful to him and to all good and faithful teachers charged with the sacred task of handing on the truth to others and to the generations to come.

Pope Francis recently wrote a document entitled Gaudete et Exsultate on holiness. What does holiness look like to you?
I have come to understand holiness as the degree to which one is united to ChristI have come to understand holiness as the degree to which one is united to Christand embodies love just as He did and continues to do for us and through us. It canbe easy to be misled into thinking that holiness is confined to the walls of a churchand is only “engaged” when we go to worship or pray. Such a line of thinking canalienate us from the idea of holiness, quickly slipping into a mindset of “holiness isnice, but that is clearly not me.” I implore all reading this to never fall for this trap,for truly, every one of us is called to holiness. To care for a loved one is holiness. Toserve others is holiness. To sacrifice time and energy for your children is holiness.To accompany those in distress is holiness. To remain humble is holiness. Tobe grateful is holiness. To forgive others is holiness. And of course, to foster arelationship with God through prayer and worship is holiness. The more theseChrist-like acts of love continue, the holier a person will become. And the happiestpeople I have ever met are also some of the holiest. Not only that, but they causethe people around them to be happier and holier. It is contagious in a very goodway.

What parish and diocesan movements have inspired you as a disciple?
The Batmobile. I think the “why” is obvious; it’s the Batmobile.

What is you dream car?
The Batmobile. I think the “why” is obvious; it’s the Batmobile.

What aspect of your home parish is the most meaningful for you?
My home parish has two sites, and although I love both sites, the St. Mary site holds a special place in my heart because that is where I would go for school Mass every week, and I was always awed by its amazing architecture and art; especially the beautiful high altar.