NAME: Deacon Cyrus Moore Haddad
HOMETOWN: London, Ohio
YEARS AT THE PCJ: I actually attended the Josephinum twice. First in 2002, right after high school I was there for almost an entire year. I returned to the Josephinum in 2009 and have been there ever since.
How did you know you wanted to be a priest?
I started thinking about the priesthood at the age of eleven. I was non-practicing at the time, but attended St. Joseph Montessori School and those of us who were registered as Catholic would attend Mass on Holy Days of Obligation. It was at one of these Masses that I became curious about the work of the priest whom I had only seen when preparing for or celebrating Mass. I became intrigued with the idea that this man’s life was totally devoted to this one activity. (Later, of course, I would find out how much work priests do in addition to celebrating Mass.)
By the time I was twelve, I had decided that I was going to be a priest. I was still not practicing, however, and knew hardly anything about my faith. In high school I began to attend Mass regularly and I was always captivated by my religion classes. I entered seminary the year after high school and was shocked to find that despite my years of Catholic education, I was woefully underprepared in faith formation as well as seriously lacking in a spiritual life. I left seminary convinced that I wanted to study and teach philosophy and that the priesthood was not for me.
I studied philosophy at Ohio Dominican University which was a wonderful experience. During those years, I would constantly be drawn back to thoughts of the priesthood. Though the priesthood was a constant thought and I was growing in my knowledge of the faith, I was very excited about the study of philosophy and decided to go on to graduate studies at The University of Dallas.
While in Texas, I became disenchanted with academia and felt that the Lord was not calling me to life in the academic world. Also at this time, my prayer life began to really flourish and I began attending daily Mass. The question of what Our Lord was asking of me became more intense. In the spring of that year, I realized that the question in my heart had changed from “Should I go back to seminary?” to “When am I going back to seminary?” When I came to realize this, I understood that Christ had been calling me all my life and I had been delaying for far too long.
When I returned to the diocese, I began the process of entering seminary. And, upon returning to seminary I almost immediately had the feeling that this was right. It was within the first semester back at the Josephinum that I knew I was meant to be a priest.
What is your favorite thing about the Josephinum?
My favorite thing about the Josephinum is that it is the gateway to the priesthood. Also, it is a great place for prayer. Liturgy at the Josephinum is of the highest caliber and allowing the prayer of the Church to form my own prayer life as well as inform hoe I see the Church and its mission has been a great help on my journey to the priesthood.
Where are you helping for your summer assignment and what are you doing?
This summer I have been assigned to St. Matthew the Apostle in Gahanna. It is a wonderful parish and I have had a great time learning about the goings on here at the parish. Before school let out, I had the opportunity to talk to each of the classes on subjects ranging from preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation to purgatory.
Do you help with any masses or sacraments?
I have also had the opportunity to preach on a number of occasions which is one of the greatest joys of my life. Recently, I performed my first baptism, the son of a good friend from college, which was an amazing blessing. For the most part, I try to involve myself or at the very least observe as many aspects of the parish life that I can in an attempt to gain an insight into the workings of this parish. Hopefully, what I experience and learn here will translate into some useful preparation for my priestly ministry.