Deacon Ryan Furlong


High School: Boardman High School – Class of 2001

College: Youngstown State University – Class of 2006
(Bachelor of Science in Education)
Additional masters courses in History

Work Experience:
Teacher at Austintown Local Schools 2010 -2013
High School History teacher at Youngstown City Schools 2009-2010.
Sales Associate at Sears 2007-2010
Substitute teacher 2007-2010

Favorite saint:  Saint Maximillian Kolbe.  He is my favorite Saint, because he spent his whole life defending and promoting the faith.  At the end of his life he was willing to die to save a stranger and he remained faithful and calm until the end.

Hobbies/interest: Reading and watching television and playing Euchre.  I also enjoy spending time with family and friends.

Family background: I was born and raised Catholic.  My father (deceased), was a school teacher.  My mother is a retired secretary and I have one sister, although she is deceased.  My parents and grandparents provided me with a very loving home and upbringing.  They were great practitioners of the faith and were always very supportive of my decisions.

What led you to consider the priesthood?  In high school, I started thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, and I had the idea of being a priest.  This idea was fleeting and it soon passed, but I always remembered it.  As I entered college I decided to major in education.  I graduated college in 2006 and I taught at the high school level both part time and full time for five years.  While I had many great friends, and enjoyed my career, I still felt that something was missing.  It was at this time that I started to find deep peace at Mass and getting involved in my church.  The more I did this, the stronger the feeling grew that God was calling me to priesthood.  After a while, I could not let the idea go any longer.  I contacted the Vocation Director and through a discernment process I applied and was accepted to seminary.  I now have great peace in my heart as I continue my discernment at Mount St. Mary’s in Cincinnati.

Favorite thing about seminary life: It is a place where one gets to know himself and gets to know God in a more complete way.  Everyone is there for the same reason and in that regard I enjoy the brotherhood and fraternalism that exists.  I also enjoy the opportunity to deepen my prayer life and to learn more about the essentials of the faith. As time as gone on, my formation has allowed me to help be a guide to others entering seminary and to help them get used to seminary life.

Advice to guys considering the priesthood: In the words of John Paul II, “Do not be afraid.”  If you have the inclination, no matter how small, that God may be calling you, act upon it.  Talk with someone and pray over it.  Visit a seminary or go on retreats.  If it is for you God will show you with affirmative responses.  But you will never know unless you try and give seminary a shot.  You will always end up a better person from attending seminary, whether you have a vocation to the priesthood or you learn that you were meant for marriage or another vocation.