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Seminarian Phillip Novotny of Omaha, left, prepares for a class Oct. 26 at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, with classmate Zach Griffith of the Diocese of Knoxville, Tenn.

Encouraging words help seminarian’s call

 

Looking back, seminarian Phillip Novotny recognizes the encouraging words he received from others to pursue the priesthood as important guideposts leading him to the Lord’s own clear call.

Friends and classmates would suggest, ‘"You know, you’d be a great priest,’" said Novotny, now in his second year of graduate school in theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. Several scoutmasters in Boy Scouts asked him if he’d thought about the priesthood, and one man in particular had a strong influence – an uncle, Father James Novotny, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Lindsay.

"From childhood, I learned that being a priest can be pretty cool," Novotny said, alluding to his uncle. "He was definitely the most popular person I knew, and one of the most well-loved people I’d ever met."

Father Novotny said he loves his life as a priest – which has included having St. Teresa of Kolkata kiss him on the hand, and talking for 15 minutes in Rome with St. John Paul II – and he shared that love with Novotny and other nephews. They traveled together on camping and other trips, and Novotny in particular expressed an early interest in the priesthood, Father Novotny said.

"I think every time he’s been around me, everybody’s been pretty friendly," Father Novotny said. "I don’t seem to have an

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