In preparation for our Homegrown Harvest Gala in the fall, which will benefit the Diocese of Jackson Office of Vocations, over the next several weeks we will feature a Q&A with one of our seminarians. This week, meet Carlisle Beggerly, who is entering his fourth year of formation.
What is your home parish?
Immaculate Conception, West Point
What is your background? (Where are you from, how did you end up in Mississippi, etc.)
I was born in Jackson. I grew up in Florence. I now live in West Point. I have lived most of my life in Mississippi.
What is your vocation story? Who influenced you and why?
I grew up Protestant. In college, I read St. Augustine’s Confessions. This led me to seek out the church to which he belonged. I entered the church after instruction from Father Bill Voller in Hattiesburg. I felt a call to priesthood from the beginning of my conversion. I spent about a year and a half with a religious order. However, I did not feel it was the right fit for me. I left and went to law school, but continued to feel a calling to priestly life. After completing law school and working for awhile, I entered seminary for the Diocese of Jackson.
What draws you to diocesan priesthood? And to the Diocese of Jackson?
I am very much a son of Mississippi and Jackson Diocese. I want to minister to the people who have helped form me through the years. My family and friends also live here and I want to be near them in the future.
What are your hobbies/interests?
I paint religious icons. I also play the piano. Hagiography (writings about the lives of saints) is one of my favorite things to study. I also enjoy reading and music.
Who is your favorite saint and why?
I have many favorite saints. Different saints have assisted me at different periods of my life. St. Stanislaus Kostka is probably my favorite at the moment. He overcame many seemingly impossible obstacles in his formation for religious life and endured to a happy death. I find his intercession very powerful at this point in my discernment.
Do you have a favorite devotion? What draws you to this devotion?
I have a fascination with relics. For Catholics, the body and the soul are essential for salvation. I like praying before these physical reminders of the saints since they were temples of the Holy Ghost. I also like meditating on the fact that the holy relics will be restored to the glorified bodies of their owners after Christ’s Second Coming.
What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I was an exchange student to Japan when I was in high school.
Who is your favorite sports team?
What has been the most rewarding part of being a seminarian? And the most challenging?
The most rewarding part of being a seminarian is having my day revolve around prayer. The Eucharist truly is the source and summit of my life in formation. This is a great blessing. The most challenging aspect of formation is probably the length of time in formation. Six years is a very long time.
What advice do you have for those discerning a vocation?
Go to Jesus in the Eucharist. Stay close to Mary and Joseph. Seek the help of the Saints and Angels, especially your Guardian Angel.
Where can people send you a personal note?
I will be at St. Joseph’s in Starkville this summer or you can mail a note to me at Notre Dame Seminary.