Meet Zachary Coulter who will be ordained in the Diocese of Youngstown
Parents: Dan and Kimberly Coulter; eight siblings
Parish: Immaculate Conception, Ravenna, Ohio, Diocese of Youngstown
Education: Master of arts and biblical Studies, Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary
What led you to pursue the priesthood?
I went to a Catholic university and there I began to pray a lot more. With that came a feeling of being called to the priesthood. After a few years of getting comfortable with the idea I talked to the director of vocations for the Diocese of Youngstown and entered seminary.
What has the journey been like as you neared ordination?
Long. I have been in seminary for seven years now and frankly I am chomping at the bit to get home and get to work.
Was there a single person who greatly influenced your decision to become a priest?
Not one particular person. I was blessed to grow up in a family of strong faith that was supportive of me throughout my journey. I have met a lot of great people along the way all of whom helped to shape me into the man I am today.
What message would you offer to those who want to serve God but do not know how?
Pray, pray, and pray. If you don’t talk to Him, how can you know what He wants you to do?
How has being a deacon (or your practical internship) influenced the type of priest that you will be?
Being a deacon was great. I finally was able to put into practice what I had been preparing for o long. I got to preach and baptize babies and serve at Mass in a more dynamic way. It was a taste of what I will be able to do as a priest.
What are some of your thoughts about beginning priestly life?
I am just very excited to get into the trenches and begin serving the people of God in the best way I can. I am ready to go to work.
What advice would you offer about discerning a vocation?
Pray, pray, and pray.
What will you miss most about your seminary preparation time? What will you value the most?
I have valued the education and experience I have received along with the friends I have made, but I don’t think I will miss anything. It’s like getting married after along engagement. I don’t think most people miss being engaged. I am just so happy to move on to the next stage of my life.
What types of non-church jobs have you had?
Throughout college I worked in a nursing home in the dietary department washing dishes and serving food. It wasn’t glamorous but it paid the bills.
What type of extracurricular activities did you enjoy in college? High school?
I like playing video games, watching super-hero movies, modding nerf guns, and playing Frisbee golf