My Vocation Story: From Pilot to Priest

My Vocation Story: From Pilot to Priest


my name is John Schnur and I’m a seminarian for the diocese of hamilton and this is my vocation story like i left my job as a commercial pilot to become a Catholic priest there are power set they have like an elk island this is my last flight is a commercial pilot at the end of this week I’m driving this out in ontario to resume my studies to be a Catholic priests glasgow John so what made you decide to become free and it was a whole lot of multiple factors over a number of years because the first thought of it when I was in my mid-teens went for a retreat with the Legionaries and i came away from the weekend retreat for the real feeling that this is bob is not what i want to do I had a very immature view of what the priest was I thought it was just that you know it’s it’s a person who who says mass for the people who helps them out and I didn’t understand that the priesthood is a reconfiguration of the man to Christ so it’s not simply just reduced to the functions that he does but it is that he has been radically reconfigured through the sacrament of holy orders to act in the person of Christ himself when he baptizes people when offers a mass when his confessions he is acting in the person of Christ and that is why I want to become a country’s I want to be like Jesus I want to act in the way that Jesus tax but I really wanted to do though was to become a pilot so in 2005 when I went to Seneca College in Toronto further aviation degree program graduated in 2009 work for a flight instructor at the flight instructor for a year and a half and I moved out to Winnipeg in 2011 work for this company for two-and-a-half years and in that time I got to know the preset as the Catholic Church here in winnipeg and Anthony of Padua temperatures that I’ve got to that the priests would always ask me John have you ever thought of becoming a priest and I would always say yes but I don’t feel God is calling me to that so at that time I thought that a man becomes a priest when you fail school when you can’t get a job or he hates the job he has maybe he can’t get a girlfriend of his life is a complete disaster then I thought as a last resort then he becomes a priest but that’s not how it works the priesthood is not something that we choose is not something that we take upon ourselves it is not something of our own initiative Jesus Christ invites us to become a priest and then we are invited to respond so when father Dominic asked me the same thing i have i said i was expecting it and I said yes but I don’t feel God is calling me to that but he didn’t give up it was early early in the year 2013 we met for coffee out of importance and gas again John so have you ever thought of becoming a priest and I said the same response yes but I don’t know God is calling me to that so something changed at that time after my conversation with father Dominic I couldn’t think of something other than the priesthood kept going back into my mind I tried to think about my love of flying I tried to think about my ambitious career the places that I wanted to go the airline’s I wanted to work for my thoughts kept returning to the priesthood what if there’s something here what if god is calling me to be a priest and it was weighing so heavily on my mind that I had to enter seminary had to enter seminary and discern if this is where God’s calling me now I didn’t enter seminary with the expectation that i would be ordained but I entered seminary with the expectation that I would assert and prayerfully asked God if this is where he wants me to be so that’s pretty high five to san agustin seminary for 3d application process I got accepted I got word of my acceptance and about i guess it was july of 2013 and September about years and I left my flying job and went to study philosophy at san agustin seminary internal the school’s over the following April I came back out here to Winnipeg to fly and I went back to school in September birth the first theology that was done this spring I came back out here to apply after all summer launch trips you know charters here and there went to several other places in Northern Ontario northern Manitoba this summer and that’s all well down to where i am right here long enough he’s playing up to college and pick up some passengers and go back to standards which will be my last flight as a commercial pilot so it’s kind of I woke up this morning just it was just surreal experience is my lifetime waking up putting on the shirt time driving to work and it’s something flying something that’s that I’ve always like I always will like and I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life working out people tell me all the time that John you can be the flying priest and while that’s a nice thought and there may be a need for that if i enter the seminary expecting to be a flying priest if I base my priesthood on the fact that i could fly if I will only be happy as a priest who flies then I’m entering the seminary and becoming a priest for the wrong reasons a priest has to be happy being a priest if you attach restrictions to the priesthood such as I will only be a priest if I can fly or I’ll only be a priest if I can work in this parish then you’re entering the priesthood with the wrong attention you have to be a priest for the sake of being a priest it is quite quite a sacrifice political but at the same time I don’t want getting something much better studying for the priesthood so thankful to the lord for that just want to tell you to keep praying perfectly don’t give up the breeze i know they never gave up on me they would always come back after John have you ever thought of becoming a brief and how i can truthfully say that i have about becoming a priest and god willing I will be ordained and 2019 watch yourself this is my last flight of the commercial powerful when we can do alone over they come around again for landing on 18 you don’t you want to absolutely the lower Broadway 18 is approved with the right hand forget her through you two 12-hour little and my wanted level 121 lifeproof 24 days not alone when I think the left early early i want to check the charlie what keystone to 12 taxi into a printed I hope you’re done big commercial pilot for good reasons thank you i’m going back to school John ospf and got the seminary to study for half of creases well it’s probably quite the RX thank you certainly put the tank no kidding i will connect

60 thoughts on “My Vocation Story: From Pilot to Priest

  1. What a beautiful testimony of God's calling and you listening to His call, Br.John. Will be praying for you. Thank you for sharing your story, and hope to see you at St. Augustine's, someday. God bless you.

  2. That's great Bro. John Schnur! Thank you for the Public Sharing…God's willing! we will be ordained in the same Year! Let's pray for each other…Praise the LORD!!!

  3. Will definitely keep you in my prayers, may God and his most Holy Mother keep you safe and strong. I know you will make a wonderful Priest. GOD BLESS.

  4. Tremendous vocation story, tremendous video. I never cease to be amazed on how God works in peoples lives and the journey some go through to answer His call all for love.
    May God give you all you need to become a great priest.

  5. Your head remains squarely on your shoulders. You are a good man. God bless you, and dwell within you all the days of your life.

  6. What a beautiful video and vocation story! Made me laugh (at the part about failing at everything/can’t find girlfriend etc haha) and cry tears of joy! Thank you so much for your yes to God! I feel called to pray and offer my life for priests and seminarians. My brother is a priest in Chicago, 5 years, a pastor now at 32. If you remember, please say a little prayer for my vocation. There have been many road blocks. God reward you!

  7. Well, go where there's a need, if you feel like you could be doing more somewhere else then there you go! 🙂 I'm thinking about the nuns who were formerly nurses.

  8. Great story, great video John. Love the imagery of the flight coming up the aisle – that's brilliant! Hope to see you on Sat.

  9. God is in control. Kay he always be with you Br to become a good priest that you wish to be and what the church desires

  10. I pray that "I want to do what Jesus did" is the same as "Because I love Jesus, I want to be a priest." All that the priest will be doing in his life will be premised on that fact: because of his great love for Jesus, he's doing what he's doing. I hear "Of course, stupid." But I rarely hear, IMO, what is the basic reason for entering religious life or being ordained. In fact, I don't hear, in a personal way, the Name of Jesus, or remarks that indicate that Jesus is a real Person in the priest's life. Jesus, here and now, not on a throne at the right hand of the Father, here with the Father and the Holy Spirit, every minute of every hour, has got to be the animating force in every follower of Jesus. More so for a priest.

  11. Wow very beautiful and inspirational story ..u r still a pilot bro..its just that u r working to our GOD..and ur passenger is humanity from earth to heaven…haha…may GODBLESS YOU ALWAYS and ALL ur loved ones..

  12. “Do not call any man on earth ‘father’; for you have one Father and he is in heaven. Nor must you be called ‘teacher’; you have one Teacher, the Messiah.” – (Matthew 23: 9-10) –

  13. This sacrilegious communion in the hand, what horror! Or do make a move that comes close to the Catholic tradition or end up in these scandals! In Bergoglio's time the sedevacantists increases, so take care! I do not like this but it's a reality

  14. Brother, this year is 2019, i hope you have been ordained!!!!! The patron saint of flying is St.Joseph of Cuppertino. He's also a patron Saint of Students. Pls ask intercession.

  15. Our True Church shall prevail all Storms because some shepards response to call of our Lord to lead the sheeps. Thank you Lord for this Miracle. Thank you Immaculate Virgin for your powerful intercessions.
    Thank you Guardian Angel of THE FLYING PRIEST for your deeds and thank you Father for your courage to lead us in these dark times where extreme bigots, intolerance, hypocrisy of sexual orientations, feminism and the left are workig against the church. Vulnerable Bishop Fulton J. Sheen indeed warned us of this times…..take care father and our prayers are with you….

  16. For the perseverance of all consecrated souls and for the increase of vocation in the priestly and religious life.

  17. I will keep you in my prayers as you approach your ordination to the priesthood. I love hearing vocation stories like yours. It definately is a calling from God. Unfortunately, I did not follow my calling early in my life and after 21 years as an engineer, decided that I had to pursue it otherwise I would go to my grave and regret for never acting on this calling. Sadly Holy Mother Church, not once but twice kicked me to the curb. It was the worst feelings ever: like a bridegroom being left at the altar. It was painful, but I persevere that if God wants me to be a priest he will make it happen. I love the Catholic Church, but apparently she doesn't feel the same way about me. This diocese will never see the fruit of this calling sadly and yet we import priests from other countries that barely know the culture, the language, or have been exposed to real life experiences. We had three men from my small rural parish make application to the seminary in the same year, only one got accepted and after two years he left the seminary. Then they wonder why there is a shortage of vocations, but yet we continue to pray for vocations. To be honest, men with a calling to the priesthood spend alot of time discerning the priesthood. If people getting married had to discern like a seminarian, we would have very few marriages because over 1/2 would be denied because many are not worthy, ill prepared, or pyschologically not ready to receive the sacrament. Just my two cents on the most important vocations that the Church elevates. PAX.

  18. Thank you Lord for giving us new & dedicated priests to work in your vineyard & for bringing
    Fr.John Schnur to our parish.

  19. At 10:41, that is a theologically incorrect Crucifix. It is an error to have a "risen" Christ on the cross. That smacks of Protestantism. Whatever parish this is, please change it.

  20. Very interesting story Father – would you consider becoming a chaplain for an aviation related company or an airline? and do you get people who want to pursue careers in aviation requesting your prayers for them?

  21. Remember I said that I heard of a pilot priest?
    I knew it was up north but it was actually a priest from Alaska! Fr. Jim Falsey
    And then I read about Msgr. Jeffrey N. Steenson!
    Congratulations! Tomorrow, May 4th, 2019 is the big day!

  22. Just promise me you won't use the skies as a metaphor.
    If you say something like "as I peaked over the clouds" or "as the sun came over me in the cockpit" I will report you to atc/faa!!

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