Full name: John Nepil
Birth date: Aug. 27, 1983
Where born and reared: Denver, CO
Seminary: St. John Vianney Theological Seminary
Q: How do you feel about being ordained to the priesthood?
A: The closer I come to the priesthood, the more I am astonished by its mystery and beauty. In these final weeks, I feel a strange blend of tremendous enthusiasm and profound humility.
Q: Describe your educational and professional background before entering formation.
A: I entered at 18 as a graduate of Littleton High School.
Q: What first interested you in the priesthood?
A: After my conversion to the faith in the summer before my senior year, it was the witness of Msgr. Ken Leone and Father Michael Pavlakovich, at the time, the two priests at my home parish, St. Frances Cabrini.
Q: When did you first feel called to the priesthood?
A: Throughout my senior year in high school.
Q: What ultimately led you to enter the seminary?
A: I was 18 and had only one desire—to do something radical for the Lord.
Q: Where did you find support for your call to the priesthood?
A: My family and friends were supportive of the decision—most importantly, the men who I entered with were a great source of encouragement and support.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about the priesthood?
A: Offering Mass and hearing confessions.
Q: What do you find most daunting about the priesthood?
A: Isolation and workaholism.
Q: What has been your favorite class or aspect of seminary life?
A: A theology elective on the work of Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar.
Q: What is your favorite pastime?
A: Climbing 14ers.
Q: Is there a particular talent or gift you feel you bring to the seminary community and, eventually, to the Church as a whole?
A: I’m pretty sweet at Bond for N64 (Nintendo game).
Q: In today’s world, a call to celibacy is seen as radical, if not impossible. How have you reconciled the priesthood’s call to celibacy with this challenging cultural perspective?
A: Christ’s call to celibacy is irreconcilable to the cultural perspective on sexuality.
Q: Can you recall a particular moment when you have been called to give testimony to your faith, or more particularly, to your vocation to the priesthood?
A: I taught a Bible study for high school guys, two of whom—Joe O’Sullivan and Kevin Burnett—are now seminarians and have surpassed me in holiness and wisdom.
Q: How do you feel about this significant step, being ordained to the diaconate, in your priesthood formation?
A: It is as humbling as it is surreal—the greatest honor of my life.