Name: Joey White
Hometown: Lake Jackson, Texas
Major: Philosophy & Letters
BS: How did you come to Holy Trinity Seminary?
JW: It was a discernment process for me. It was [after I decided] to be a priest that the bishop told me to come to Holy Trinity Seminary here in Dallas. Right when I entered high school was the first time I thought about it. I went on a Steubenville retreat in Louisiana, and the bishop asked if anyone had thought about being a priest or whatnot, and right when he said that, I felt this burning sensation in my heart, so I went down. I had a few moments like that, when I thought about being a priest. I guess like your regular high school student, I went on a retreat and after that, it was back to normal life. It was not until my senior year when I really committed myself to the Lord and knew I had to pray more. I committed that I would go to an adoration chapel we had near our house from 9 a.m. to midnight for five to 10 minutes every day to work on becoming closer to Jesus. And it was through that that I remembered those moments in my life when God was calling me to be a priest. I went on a mission trip, I went on these retreats, I talked to my vocations director and I pursued it from there. It was a snowball from there!
BS: What does a typical day look like for a seminarian?
JW: Monday through Friday, we get up and have to be in the chapel at 6:30 a.m. for prayer. We have morning prayer for 10 or 15 minutes, followed by Mass. That goes from 6:30 to 7:30, and after that, we eat breakfast, and in between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. it’s pretty much free for us. We have a lunch that’s come-and-go between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in between class, homework and the like. We gather in the evening [Monday through Thursday] and have evening prayer, which is followed by 30 minutes of meditation, where we all sit quietly together, pray, do whatever devotions we have at that time. After that, we all eat dinner together. And on Fridays, the evenings are free, we don’t have prayer together. So we’re free to do whatever we want, study, hang out. Saturdays are free; we have Mass in the morning, but besides that we’re free. Sundays, we have morning prayer and Mass, free time during the day, and then in the evenings, we regather for a conference that they give us.
BS: What do you usually do for fun?
JW: A big thing that a lot of guys like to do is go out and eat together, or go out and watch sports on the weekends. We go to Cavalli’s a lot, and I also love Babe’s Chicken. I love to watch and play sports. I follow all the Houston teams, the Houston Rockets, the Houston Astros and the Houston Texans. I grew up in a Texas A&M family, so we watch all the Aggies sports.
BS: How do the seminarians see themselves in relation to the University of Dallas?
JW: We think of ourselves certainly as students of the university, just as anyone else. But primarily, we’re seminarians, so the seminary is our primary focus, and we’re focused on discerning to become priests. Definitely [we see ourselves] as some among many students, with the exception of being seminarians.
BS: What is your favorite class?
JW: My favorite class is our Senior Seminar we have this year. We’re going over Theology of the Body, and we’ve read some novels. We read Graham Greene, “The End of the Affair.” We’re going to read “Gift and Mystery” by John Paul II. It’s a great combination, because we’re studying “Theology of the Body,” but we’re looking at different literature and how it’s present everywhere. It’s been awesome, super discussion-based, and really fun. Dr. [Matt] Walz is our teacher, and he does a great job.
BS: What’s your favorite UD event?
JW: A lot of guys went to Oktoberfest, and I know a lot of guys last year went to Groundhog. We definitely try to go to as many events as we can when they don’t conflict with our seminary schedule. I really like Charity Week, I think it’s really cool how everyone comes together and has fun raising funds for different charities. It’s [a] really cool solidarity that is built and it’s great to be a part of that with the different events that we have. I know this past year, we had some of our seminarians play at the open mic, and going to that was a blast.