By Tony DeGol
Justin Treon seems to have figured out the secret to living the life to which the Lord calls us.
“It all starts with trust in God, and in what He wants of us each day,” he said. “If we take the time to trust, God will really guide us in the direction He wants us.”
For Treon, that direction is the continued discernment of a vocation to the priesthood.
With his parents, brother, and hundreds of other Catholics watching, he took another major step on that path as Bishop Mark formally accepted him as a candidate for ordination during the outdoor Mass on July 25th at the Our Lady of the Alleghenies Shrine in Loretto.
The Rite of Candidacy is a formal acknowledgement by the Church that a seminarian is worthy to be ordained, thus a candidate for Holy Orders.
Treon, a member of Saint Aloysius Parish in Cresson and graduate of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg, is scheduled to be ordained a transitional deacon in the spring of 2022.
“I honestly can’t wait until May, but at the same time, I don’t want it to come too quickly,” he said with a wide smile.
First things first. Treon is serving a summer assignment at Transfiguration Parish in Conemaugh under the pastorate of Father Robert Hall. He will continue his education and priestly formation this fall at Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe.
God willing, he will be ordained a priest in 2023.
In his homily, Bishop Mark offered his prayerful support to Treon, and encouraged the faithful to walk with others on their discernment journey.
“I know for a fact that there isn’t a single young man present tonight that hasn’t thought about what it would be like if Jesus called me to be one of His priests,” the Bishop stated. “I invite all of you to join with me in praying for these young men, to lift up more vocations, more who will come to preach the Word of God and serve at His altar. God will continue to bless us with His love through their ministry.”
For Treon, Candidacy is the beginning of the end of his long vocation path.
“I have felt for some time a calling to the priesthood – even when I was quite young I had wanted to be a priest,” he recalled. “For my love of Church to have grown over the years, and for me to wind up where I am now, it’s awesome. I am honestly amazed at where I am now and how God has guided me to this point in my formation.”
And it all started with trust.
[Photos: (First Inset) Bishop Mark joins seminarian Justin Treon, and Treon’s parents and brother following the Mass during which Treon was formally accepted as a candidate for ordination. (Second Inset) Treon poses with the Very Reverend John Byrnes, JCL, JV, Rector of the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel in Loretto and Judicial Vicar for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.]