“We will serve” (Joshua 24:15) is a series highlighting Diocese of Syracuse seminarians in partnership with the diocesan Office of Vocation Promotion.


John Leo Oduor

Seminary: Christ the King Seminary, 3rd Theology

Home parish: Our Lady of Hope, Syracuse

“My vocation journey began as young as the age of 7. After high school, I joined the religious order of the Augustinians and attended the Consolata Institute of Philosophy, an affiliate to the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome, Italy, graduating in 2009 with bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Religious Studies.

I later discontinued with the order and went to work with Barclays Bank International-Kenya, rising from tea/coffee server to direct sales representative. I then worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees based in Tanzania for four years, serving refugees from different parts of East Africa.

Serving in international organizations was a chance for more experience and humbling. Meeting different people of different cultures faced with different challenges of life. By all these I came to accept and understand the true meaning of life and the presence of Jesus Christ in serving our neighbors. These missions drew me to a feeling that Christ was calling me to explore my earlier life more united to His Salvic work.

After a lot of thought and prayer and a few gentle, and not so gentle, nudges from God, I wanted to be as open as I possibly could to the will of God and to the Holy Spirit working in my life to make the right decision with my vocation. I decided to become a religious again with the Order of Preachers Missionaries. While being open in following through with this vocation to the priesthood, I felt more drawn to priesthood serving at the parish level.

I feel I am headed in the right direction by the overwhelming peace I have when I am at Mass or in the church serving the people of God as a seminarian for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse. I feel that I have been well mentored and to achieve such a tremendous journey is a blessing from God the Almighty.”

For more information on discerning a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, contact Father Jason Hage at 315-470-1468, email vocations@syrdio.org, or visit vocations-syracuse.org.

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