It’s a calling.
Before his freshman year at Joliet Catholic Academy, Drew Pultorak considered the priesthood for his post-high school career. In the middle of his senior year at JCA, Pultorak realizes the future is now.
“Ever since I was younger, I was thinking about becoming a priest,” he said. “At different times, I thought more yes and more no. Going into high school, I knew I had to get more serious about it.
“I pushed it off my freshman, sophomore and junior years, but this is the first time I’ve gotten serious about, ‘What is God calling me to do? What if this is what God is calling me to do?’ I have to know.”
After going to the Youth Leadership Conference at Lewis this summer and speaking with the Rev. Burke Masters, the director of vocations for the Diocese of Joliet, Pultorak noted how “that got me on fire.”
As a result, Pultorak has enrolled at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, for next fall’s freshman semester. His older sister Sylvi is a student there as well. He has tentative plans to major in theology.
“They have a priestly discernment program where you are in a separate dorm, 50 guys who are discerning the priesthood, and I will most likely major in theology,” Pultorak said. “They also have a catechetic program, and that’s something I really enjoy. I enjoy teaching the faith and religious education.
“What I really like about Franciscan University is the atmosphere. It’s located near the mountains, it’s really, really , and you can see that everyone there on campus is on fire for the faith.”
If Pultorak does not choose the priesthood, he would love to follow in the footsteps of Jeremy Hylka, a theology teacher at JCA and the moderator the school’s highly regarded Respect For Life Club.
“I don’t know right now if God is calling me 100 percent to be a priest or to be a theology teacher,” Pultorak said. “Mr. Hylka is one of my role models. He heads our St. Paul’s Youth Group and asked me to be a peer minister, helping to lead the Bible studies, prayers and workshops. It’s a possibility.
“I’ll be in the priestly discernment program at Franciscan, so we’ll see what God is calling me to do. Maybe it’s go to college, major in theology, find a girlfriend and get married. It will be a fun experience.”
His experience at JCA has been exemplary. The president of the Respect For Life Club and French Club and the vice president of the Science Club, Pultorak has noticed the change from his freshman year.
“JCA has so many clubs and everybody is nice and open,” he said. “I have new freshman friends this year because of our clubs; you meet so many new people. When I came here, I was self-conscious and didn’t have many friends. I was really shy, but now people see me as outgoing. JCA brings out your best.”