The Pope's Visit: Answering the Call

In the Catholic faith, becoming an ordained priest is the calling of the highest order. 

News 12 Long Island's Stone Grissom spent a day at St. Joseph's Seminary with a young Long Islander who is heading down that path.

Mike Plona spent his childhood like many Long Islanders. And he had typical dreams. 

"I think I kind of wanted to be the basic things a lot of kids want to be. Astronaut, maybe a fighter pilot, a pitcher for the Yankees," says Plona.

But he says, it was in high school, when the thought of the priesthood became a serious option.

Now in his third year at St Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, New York, the 26-year-old spends his days honoring the calling he first felt in high school.

When one thinks about the seminary, one might envision long hours of the solemn sounds of Mass, but a typical day in the life of a young seminarian has other distractions.

Plona is part of a band - they play folksy rocky blue grass kind of stuff - called the Papa Panchos. They even have a bowling alley and a gym.

But there's also a lot of work that needs to be done for classes. Seminarians spend a lot of time reading and praying.

During Pope Francis' visit to St Patrick's Cathedral in NYC, Plona stood at his side - as the Crozier bearer. The Crozier is the cross staff the pope carries.

Plona is set to become ordained in June 2016.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."