It’s Steven Bronzi, your newly appointed winner of 8 weeks of fun in the sun at St. Joseph’s in Huntington WV!
I grew up in Rockford Illinois. I went to Catholic schools all the way through high school. I received my associates degree from a community college in Rockford. I worked for two years before going back to school and earning my Bachelor degree. In that time, I was a crew leader for a restaurant and had the opportunity to travel and help open a few stores. I decided to go back to school and graduated from Columbia College in Chicago with a B.A. in film with a concentration in animation. Three years after graduating from Columbia, I moved to Bakersfield California in hopes of doing something with my degree. I spent most of my time working as a server in a restaurant. I also had been playing guitar for a little while and got involved with a local popular rock band as their bass player. I played with them for two years before putting together a Christian Metal project on a less known independent label with my brother and a friend, and moved to Nashville. In Nashville, I was mostly active playing music and working as a bartender to pay the bills. I also was able to finally put my degree to use and worked on a few independent music videos for an established country musician, one of which received national recognition on VH1 and Country Music Television. I moved back to California with my brother after four years in Nashville, and was trying to figure out what I should be doing next. It was here where my discernment for the priesthood really began.
I’ve always had the idea of trying to serve God. There were times when I even wondered about priesthood. The main thing, up until this point of discernment, was that I was willing to do things for God on my own terms, but I never asked God directly what He wanted of me. I do believe God has led me in every place I’ve lived, and in everything I’ve done. The problem was that I was always willing to give Him just part of my finger or thumb, afraid He would take my whole hand. I could see my life like the popular image people use of “footsteps in the sand”. In this image there are two tracks of footprints and at the difficult times in life there is only one track of footprints. This is to illustrate that Jesus was there in that person’s life and during the difficult times, Jesus did not abandon that person, but rather it is where He was carrying that individual. My journey has been like that in a way, but the best illustration I can use is a set of footprints and a large, long ditch along next to it. The footsteps represent Jesus and the large, and long ditch is where He has been dragging me along the way kicking and screaming like a little child.
After spending some time discerning in California, I moved back to Rockford to be closer to my parents. I was in contact with the vocations director in Rockford, but shortly after moving, my parents began flirting with the idea of moving out east to be closer to their grandchildren. I decided to wait and see what they did so I put my discernment on hold and worked as a supervisor for a the local transit authority responsible for transporting the disabled community. Within three years, my parents decided to move and found a house in Charles Town, West Virginia. They are strategically placed between my brother in Frederick with six children, and my sister in Front Royal with five children. The day our moving truck showed up, Deacon Dave from St. James the Greater showed up with a group of ten or so people to help us move in. Deacon Dave also caught wind of my discernment, and immediately got me involved with the parish. I’ve been so completely impressed with the people I’ve met in West Virginia, I do believe that God has led me here for a reason. After a year of volunteering with St. James, and reconnecting with my family after over ten years, I decided it was time to begin moving forward again in my discernment and began attending Mount Saint Mary’s for the diocese of Wheeling Charleston. I feel so blessed to be a part of this diocese and this is where the story really begins. I look forward to continuing my discernment and work for our Lord, and am excited to see what unfolds.