Priest-in-Training: An Interview with Santino Ambrosini


Roxanne Civarello

Izzy Gardner '15, Copy Editor

Santino Ambrosini truly is a student that embodies the Marin Catholic motto of “Faith, Knowledge, Service.” He has hundreds of service hours, accells in the classroom, participates in numerous  extracurriculars across campus, and was named a Prince at February’s Turnabout Rally. However, Santino is different from his fellow students in one very distinct way: he has discerned a vocation to priesthood. Like many of this year’s seniors, he will begin his college education in the fall, though he will receive some spiritual instruction at  Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon. In this interview with The Roar, Santino shows what makes him the best representative of the first Marin Catholic pillar: faith.


Has religion always played a central role in your life?

“Religion has always played a major role in my life.  My parents baptized me when I was only two months old.  One of the earliest things I remember is my parents teaching me the Sign of the Cross.  I have gone to Catholic schools all my life, I have been an altar boy since the fourth grade, and my mom always took me to Mass with her.  Gradually, though, religion started to become more and more a part of who I am.”

What made you decide to be a priest?

“I have always felt drawn to the priesthood, but for a long time it was not what I wanted to do.  I wanted to be able to get married and have a family.  However, as I entered high school I began to consider the priesthood more and more.  One evening at the beginning of junior year, I could think about absolutely nothing but becoming a priest.  At that moment I knew that this was something God was calling me toward.”

What excites you most about this vocation?

“I am most excited to fulfill an essential role in the Church as a servant of God.  The life of a priest is one of service and sacrifice. [Priests] are with people through every moment of their lives through the Sacraments and just in everyday life.

What (if anything) scares you most about being a priest?

“One of the greatest sacrifices of the priesthood is not getting married and experiencing the love and companionship that exists between husband and wife.   This is indeed daunting and is the essential question that most men grapple with while discerning their vocation.  However, priests are in essence married.  They are married to a woman who demands all of their time, attention, being, and care.  Priests take as their own the Bride of Christ, the Church.”

What is your favorite prayer? Why?

“One of my favorite prayers has always been the ‘Ave Maria.’  Not only is it beautiful in both recitation and song, but we ask the intercession of Our Blessed Virgin Mother.  She is indeed a great intercessor for us, for Our Lady is Christ’s dear mother and incredibly close to His heart.”

Who is your favorite saint? 

“It is very difficult to choose a single favorite, but some of my favorite saints are the Blessed Virgin Mother, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Thomas More, and Pope Saint John Paul II.”

What do you think is the biggest misunderstanding about Catholicism/ the priesthood?

“The biggest misunderstanding about the Church is the idea that She can change Her teachings to conform to those of the present age.  I often hear the phrase, ‘The Church needs to get with the times.’  In this context, that is something that simply cannot happen.  What is revealed Truth does not change because a culture or society decides to promote an agenda contrary to the Church’s teachings.  A quote that I saw recently that really resonated with me is from Bishop Thomas A. Daly.  His Excellency said, ‘Compassion always, compromise never.  That is, compromising the teachings of Christ; we can’t because they’re the truth.’”

How did you choose Catholicism out of all of the Christian sects?

“I am a cradle Catholic, so I have been raised from the moment of my birth in the Catholic faith.  However, there is more to it than that.  The Catholic Church was established by Christ Himself.  The Sacraments, the essential life of the Church, and the authority for administering them has proceeded down from Christ and the Apostles through Apostolic Succession.  Furthermore, with the Catholic Church lies the complete fullness of Christ’s Truth, and that Truth has been faithfully carried on now for two millennia.”

Good luck, Santino, on your faith journey. May your trust and belief in the Church continue to grow throughout your life.