Neal McCaffreyPropaedeutic Stage
Mount St. Mary's Seminary
Hello! My name is Neal McCaffrey. I was born in Royal Oak, Michigan. I am blessed with two wonderful parents and three older sisters. Growing up, I had a great witness to the faith in my mother as she always encouraged me to go to Mass, pray the Rosary and seek to find joy in every little thing pertaining to the people around me and the Catholic faith. My father is a convert to Catholicism from Lutheranism and has always encouraged me in his consistent attendance of adoration just about every Monday evening since I can remember. As for my sisters, they were always encouraging and supportive of my endeavors whether it was sports, my interest in medicine and finally, pursuing the priesthood. I was blessed with my family’s caring and genuine personalities that have and continue to encourage me along my journey.
I had the opportunity to attend an all-boys Catholic high school in the Metro Detroit area, and found this time to be unique in my faith journey. I had enjoyed my experience with the men on different faith-based retreats and mission trips. Through many of these experiences and time in my local home parish’s perpetual adoration chapel, I began to think more about the priesthood. I had attended discernment weekends for the priesthood through the Archdiocese of Detroit, but did not feel at peace with entering seminary upon graduating high school, and so I decided to pursue a college education.
In 2016, I began attending Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. As I reflect on my time there, I was fortunate to have many challenging conversations with professors, students, and people from the greater Lynchburg city area in regard to Catholicism. Through the experience of having to do more research and understanding of my Catholic faith, I grew deeper in love with the Eucharist, Mary and other components that deeply enhanced my college experience. I also learned many lessons from my Protestant friends such as a deeper love for the scriptures, the importance of good Bible studies and young adult faith groups. I had the opportunity to assist some of my friends into the Catholic Church, and these were truly some of the most special moments of my life. Academically, I studied biomedical science with the intent of going to medical school. As I began my application process in 2021, I was working at a cardiac outpatient clinic in Lynchburg and felt a stronger and stronger urge to explore the priesthood. It did not take long after my conversation with Fr. Brian, the Vocations Director at the time, this is where I would stay to discern the priesthood.
In August of 2022, I began a year-long internship at Holy Trinity Parish in Norfolk, VA. I had the opportunity to continually learn from the pastor, Fr. James Glass, attend daily Mass, partake in a Holy Hour with the priest, and experience many different parish ministries. It became clear to me that it was time to invest more fully in discerning the Lord’s will for me through the seminary as the internship year progressed.
I am currently in the Propaedeutic Year of Discernment at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD and have thoroughly enjoyed it to this point. Please pray for me. God Bless!
Favorite Saint: Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Favorite Catholic Book: A Priest is Not His Own by Venerable Fulton J. Sheen