By Father Joseph Sia
Imagine what would happen in a diocese that had more than 80 vocation directors? It would be amazing, right?
I’ve been imagining it for a while, especially since Bishop Thomas Zinkula asked me to consider the title of “Vocations Director.” Yes, there is only one priest who can have the formal title, and that is me, as of July 1. Additionally, we will have two “Associate Vocations Directors” — Father Thom Hennen and Father Jeff Belger. However, I would like to work with all the priests of the Diocese of Davenport to promote vocations to the priesthood, and I would like to encourage all the lay faithful to remember the call to holiness in today’s world. I think this is especially on my mind because as I write this article, I have a copy of “Rejoice and be Glad,” Pope Francis’ most recent Apostolic Exhortation, on my desk, as I just got finished preparing a presentation about it.
Allow me now to give you a short introduction. My name is Father Joseph Sia, and, using the words of Bishop Zinkula when he asked me about this new assignment, I am a “seasoned priest” of the diocese, having just recently marked 10 years of ordination. Nonetheless, 10 years as a priest is not much … most of my brother priests in the diocese have been ordained for a longer time. I am originally from the Philippines, where I graduated as a Doctor of Medicine in 1999. I came to Iowa in 2002 to attend graduate studies at the University of Iowa. It was there that I had time and space to think and pray about God’s will for my life and, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I answered the call to discern priesthood and entered seminary in 2003. I graduated from Mundelein Seminary and was ordained in 2008.
My first assignment was to Muscatine (Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish), and Columbus Junction (St. Joseph Parish). In 2013, I became pastor in Columbus Junction and sacramental minister in West Liberty (St. Joseph Parish).
I am honored and humbled to accept this responsibility and I am excited to help in the formation of seminarians and to encourage young men to consider the priesthood. As I begin this new task, I would like to THANK YOU for your interest in priestly vocations (the mere fact that you are reading this means you have such an interest!) and I would like to ask for your prayers that many more men will open their hearts to God’s call to become priests in the service of the church.
(Fr. Sia is vocations director for the Davenport Diocese. Contact him at (563) 888-4255 or email@example.com.)