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Vocations are a family affair for seminarian Noah C. Morey. The sixth of eight children, he has an older brother who is a Benedictine priest and an older sister who is a Discalced Carmelite nun.

Morey, who will be ordained a transitional deacon May 31 by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington, said having "trailblazers in the family" helped him see a religious vocation as tangible and attainable.

His vocation also is the fruit of a good dose of prayer. "Not just personal and family prayer, but there has always been extended family praying for us," said Morey. With the help of so many prayers, "God's been at work behind the scenes," he said.

Born March 28, 1986, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, to Michael and Kathy Morey, he grew up in Seattle and was home-schooled until college.

During his sophomore year in high school, he added two practices that were pivotal in his vocational discernment: He became a sacristan at his local parish, regularly helping out at Mass, and he started reading Scripture daily.

"These two - word and Sacrament - were so important to me," he said.

Morey went on to attend Christendom College in Front Royal, where he continued to stay close to Mass and Scripture. He graduated in 2008 with a degree in theology.

Following graduation, Morey spent one year teaching Latin and history at Chelsea Academy in Front Royal while coaching several sports teams there.

In 2009, he entered Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.

His time in the seminary has been "characterized by a lot of peace," he said. But it also has been fairly secluded and academic-focused, and Morey said he's looking forward to serving at a parish during his diaconate year and putting "meat on the bones of what we are learning."

"I just look forward to being available to people," he said. "When we are out with the people and serving the parish - being Jesus to people - I think it is very humbling and exciting."

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2014