Catholic Scout ordained to the priesthood

“An important influence for me was living my Catholic faith through Scouting, which kept me oriented toward the priesthood.”

Photo by Nick Castelli Photography

That’s how Father Joseph Lettieri, who was ordained to the priesthood on June 8, 2024, describes the importance of Catholic Scouting in the discernment of his priestly vocation.

“Scouting taught be about the preeminent place of God in my life.”

Lettieri, an Eagle Scout, who earned all four of the Roman Catholic Religious Emblems, is an avid supporter of Catholic Scouting, because it helps people grow in the faith and develop as well-rounded citizens.

“Scouting teaches you balance and responsibility and family and faith and keeping God and Church as highest priority,” said Lettieri, whose mother and father were Scout leaders and whose four brothers are all Eagle Scouts, too. “Our Troop was a Catholic troop sponsored by the parish (St. William the Abbot in Seaford, New York) so our Catholic identity permeated our troop, we prayed before and after each meeting each week. Our priest chaplain would visit us regularly, one time he came on a kayaking trip with us.”

“I earned all the Roman Catholic Religious Emblems. The most impactful was Pope Pius XII, which focuses on vocation and discerning our active life as Catholics,” said Lettieri. “The man who led the St. Pius program was a very good man from our parish who was very influential for me.”

Lettieri’s Eagle project benefited Ambulance Medical Technicians (AMT) Children of Hope Foundation, which provides material and financial assistance to women experiencing crisis pregnancy and offers a safe space for abandoned infants. AMT holds many fundraising and supply drives throughout the area, so Lettieri built a mobile collection container the organization could take where needed to collect diapers and other supplies. Lettieri also led a supply drive for AMT.

“Scouting taught me the importance and nature of humility because we need to put ourselves at the disposal of others, and being humble is a good characteristic of a priest,” said Lettieri about what he learned through his Eagle and the many other service projects he carried out through Scouting. “An important characteristic of a priest is leading a life of humble service.”

“I also had the opportunity to be a leader in a lot of capacities during my time in Scouting – I learned about the emphasis on servant leadership, which has served me well in ministry,” Lettieri continued. “I learned about the importance of patience in leadership and mentoring people as well as setting a vision. I have put these in practice in ministry, including in catechesis.”

Lettieri was ordained to the priesthood on June 8 at the Cathedral of St. Agnes in Rockville Centre, New York. He celebrated his first Mass at his home parish of St. William the Abbot in Seaford, New York last Sunday. Please pray for Father Lettieri. Please also pray for all young men and women discerning their vocations and considering a life of service to the Church.

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