Video of a talk by a seminarian with an inoperable brain tumor

In the past I have asked for prayers for, Philip Johnson, a seminarian with an inoperable brain tumor.

A reader alerted me to a video of a talk that he gave at Catholic High School called St. Thomas More Academy, in Raleigh, NC.

He covers four major points:

1.  His conversion story.  Not being a great Catholic in High School.  Looked forward to fraternities and parties in college.  Ultimately went to the Naval Academy.  It was there that he went to Mass again and began feeling called to the priesthood.  He explains this call and talks about time he spent in France, especially at Lourdes.
2.  His vocation story which is ultimately intertwined with his cancer diagnosis and being released from the Navy.
3.  Being diagnosed with a terminal and inoperable brain tumor and reacting to this news.
4.  Embracing this cross and talking about the value of redemptive suffering.

Click here to watch the video of  Philip Johnson.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. brianvzn says:

    Very powerful. Thank you Father for posting this. I am 34 years old and have had 2 bouts with oral cancer. While it was scary, I doubt I would have come back to the faith otherwise. After the first case in 2005, I made my first confession in 15 years. Suffering is a gift from God as he says. I looked up his name and found he has a blog.

  2. mila48 says:

    I was moved to tears listening to him. As the mother of a young man who has had two bouts with cancer, it touched a special chord. I will be praying for Philip, that God’s will be done in him, and if the Lord wishes to call him now, before he becomes a priest, that he will sustain him in his suffering.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    What a brave man. I have had cancer and he is dealing with it in such a wonderful manner. It helps all of us to listen to him.

  4. tonyballioni says:

    The Bishop of Raleigh called the entire Diocese to pray a novena to the Immaculate Conception for him in Late November/Early-December. The entire diocese has really united behind this cause. Let us take this oppurtunity not only to pray for Philip, but also to thank God for Bishop Burbidge, who has provided great leadership for our Diocese and led us in supporting this young man.

    Here is the link to the novena and the bishop’s letter:

  5. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Philip is blessed already with the gift of sacred eloquence. It sounded like a talk given by a priest. I wonder if the bishop could just have him tutored in a crash course of theology and ordain him sooner after getting a dispensation. Then he could take further courses in theology while ordained a priest.

    God bless Bishop Burbidge for his fatherly solicitude and support for this seminarian. Philip will be in my prayers.

  6. Emilio III says:

    I don’t know why I was surprised at his blog entry for Christmas 2010: serving at an EF Missa Cantata. It is good to see seminarians at Masses in the older form.

  7. Liz says:

    Thank you, reader, and, Father, for sharing this. Philip will make a wonderful priest if that’s God’s will for him. Though, as it is, he is already bringing others closer to Christ. It’s very special to be part of a faith in which our suffering helps our redemption (and others) and how we are all connected through the church. I guess I will have stop just saying “offer it up” without explanation! :o)

  8. wanda says:

    My thanks to the reader and to you Fr. Z. for posting this story and video. I have been praying for
    Phillip since your request some time ago. My prayer will be illuminated now with the face of this beautiful young man. My prayer will continue for him.

  9. carolg says:

    Thanks for posting. We pray every day for Philip.

  10. irishgirl says:

    I’m unable to watch the video-but I’ve been praying for Philip ever since you mentioned about his illness, Father Z.
    I’ve been using the prayer to Venerable Pauline Jaricot that you suggested.
    I’ve had cancer myself-five years ago this month I had my surgery. So I can certainly empathize with Philip.
    Still praying for him in my Rosary…..

  11. Mike Walsh says:

    Philip is a good lad, and Bp. Burbidge has been very supportive. He issued a prayer car for his intention, while honoring NC native Servant of God Fr. Thomas F. Price, MM, who would have been serving there at the time Philip’s family converted to Catholicism. I interviewed Philip for a magazine article that will come out shortly. Even edited down somewhat, it is a stirring story.

  12. green fiddler says:

    Philip, I’m praying with you and will continue.
    God bless you.

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