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Inspired by a cloud of witnesses

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Editor's note: Fr. Jonathan R. Fioramonti was ordained to the priesthood June 5 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More.

After he graduated from Christendom College in Front Royal, Deacon Jonathan R. Fioramonti made an important decision about what path his life would take. He thought to himself, “Either what the Catholic Church teaches and what I’ve been taught my entire life is a lie and it’s not true and it’s not worth giving my life to, or it is everything, it’s the most important thing above all and I need to just totally commit my life to it.” He chose the latter option, and after months of prayerful discernment, he entered Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.

Long before he made the conscious decision to pursue God’s will above all else, Deacon Fioramonti spent time around wonderful witnesses who taught him what it meant to live the faith. “God had really surrounded me with people who had shown me the heroic, beautiful, happy, blessed life of living the Catholic faith,” he said. “I was like, Catholicism is true because I see the lives of these people who are living this. They’re so joyful and I want to be like that.”

The first witnesses were his parents. Deacon Fioramonti, 29, was born in Fairfax to Bob and Karen Fioramonti, the oldest of their nine children. “My mom and my dad really took seriously passing on the faith to their kids,” he said. The family lived in Manassas and attended All Saints Catholic Church. Deacon Fioramonti was homeschooled until attending Seton School in Manassas in the seventh grade. He graduated in 2010 from Seton and in 2014 from Christendom. “I don’t know if I could have gotten a better Catholic education than I did,” he said.

From a young age, Deacon Fioramonti always loved to play and watch sports. “I played three sports in high school: soccer, basketball and lacrosse. I was a huge fan of all Washington sports. I lived and died with every game,” he said. Though he feels he often was too invested in sports, the example of the coaches he had and the friends he met through sports, including several men who went on to become priests, brought him closer to his vocation. “It's neat how God kind of drew me through something that I was excessive over,” he said. “He used that to draw me to himself.” 

After his priestly ordination, Deacon Fioramonti will be parochial vicar at St. Leo the Great Parish in Fairfax. He looks forward to giving back to a Catholic community. “I've received so many good witnesses in my life and I can’t wait just to be that witness for families as a priest,” he said. 

He’s also excited to be able to bless people. “There was a priest at seminary who would always end class by saying, ‘May I give you God’s blessing?’ And I loved the way he asked it. The whole room just changed as he gave all of us seminarians a blessing,” said Deacon Fioramonti. “I can’t wait to be so generous in giving God’s blessing to people.”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021