The path to priesthood

First Posted: 5/12/2015

LIMA — David Kidd first had an inkling that he was being called into the priesthood when he was a senior in high school. The Rev. Todd Dominique, the president at Lima Central Catholic High School at the time, took the seniors to visit Josephinum Pontifical College in Columbus.

“When we got back,” said Kidd, “Father Todd made his pitch to me. He said he thought I’d make a good priest. I looked left and right to see who he was talking to. I didn’t think it could be me because I wanted to go to Ashland University and study political science.”

Kidd said he made a deal with God that if he did not find the girl of his dreams, he would enter the priesthood. Almost immediately afterward, he met and started dating someone. He also joined the National Guard his freshman year at Ashland University.

During the fall of his sophomore year at college, Kidd went to boot camp in North Carolina. It was here that the seeds Dominique had planted started to grow. After having a serious conversation with his then girlfriend, the two broke up so Kidd could seriously consider the call to the priesthood.

At the end of his sophomore year, Kidd was deployed. During this time, he spent a lot of time praying at the altar before the tabernacle. In the Catholic faith, this is a niche in the main altar where the Eucharist is held.

“I prayed two things,” said Kidd. “First, I prayed, ‘What is your will for me?’ Second, I prayed that whatever God’s will for me was, that I would have the strength to do it.”

Kidd said he felt called but he also was committed to serving in the National Guard. He spent nine months in Kuwait in 2008 serving with the 37th Buckeye Brigade.

When he returned to the United States for rest and recuperation, he spoke at length with the vocations director for the Diocese of Toledo, the Rev. Adam Hertzfeld. At the end of that conversation, Hertzfeld gave Kidd an application to seminary. Two days before Kidd returned to Kuwait, he sent in his application, but Kidd did not find out he was accepted as a seminarian until after he was back in Kuwait.

When he returned home from Kuwait in December 2008, he spent one more semester at Ashland University. He then attended Josephinum Pontifical College in Columbus where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy.

In the fall of 2014, Kidd traveled to Rome where he attended North American College, where he received a bachelor degree in sacred theology.

His next step in the journey toward priesthood was to serve as a seminarian intern at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Norwalk, which is where Kidd is currently.

On March 28, he was ordained as a deacon which is an important step before a priest can be ordained. As an ordained deacon, Kidd can distribute Mass, preach, read the petitions and proclaim the Gospel. He may also perform the sacraments of marriage, baptism and funeral rites.

“I only have one more year to go to become an ordained priest,” explained Kidd. “Lord willing, I’ll be ordained at Holy Rosary (Catholic Church) on June 25, 2016.”

Before he can do that, though, he will have to serve as a chaplain at a hospital through the summer, which is one of the requirements to become ordained into the Diocese of Toledo. Kidd will be fulfilling that requirement at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.

“This is where you get clinical pastoral education,” explained Kidd. “It’s where you get to minister to people at some of their toughest times.”

In the fall, Kidd will head back to Rome where he will get a license in sacred theology at Pontifical Gregorian University, which is a two-year degree. “You focus on a specific area,” he said. “My specific area will be fundamental theology.”

While the bishop of the Diocese of Toledo, the Rev. Daniel Thomas, will be the one to assign Kidd to where he will serve once he is ordained and has finished his degree in Rome, Kidd said it will most likely be serving a parish. “I am training to be a diocesan priest,” he said. “They usually work and serve in a diocese. I will serve in Northwest Ohio because that is where my diocese serves.”

While Kidd said that it can be a challenge to present a timeless Gospel in a way that is applicable for people here and now, he said serving people is fun.

“You are with them at their most joyful and most sorrowful,” he said. “No day is ever the same. It’s so much fun to be there to serve, to minister to people, not just at their most vulnerable but at their most joyful times, too.”

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