By John Franco
Supplement to the Pittsburgh Catholic
Father Daniel Langa said his seminary experience prepared him well for the priesthood. “It’s an amazing spiritual journey that has helped me feel comfortable enough to enter into this ministry,” he said. Father Langa, 26, is looking forward to celebrating the sacraments and bringing people closer to Christ. He recalled first having thoughts of the priesthood when he received a prayer book for his first Communion. It contains an image of a priest celebrating Mass. He spoke of how he would try to emulate the priest, often “celebrating” Mass with his sister present.
However, Father Langa pointing out that thoughts of the priesthood eventually faded and he began to consider a career in music.
Those same thoughts would return when fellow parishioners at St. Paul in Butler began to tell him that they saw a vocation in him. He soon approached Father Hugh Gloninger, who was then serving as pastor. Father Gloninger asked him to pray, he said, and be open to what God was calling him to do. The priest told him that he might always wonder “what if” if he didn’t at least try the seminary.
Father Langa noted that when he did, he found a group of men who were normal and not afraid to show their love of God. He decided to enter the formation program at St. Paul Seminary in fall 2001. The seminary experience, he noted, fostered in him a deeper understanding of God and it demonstrated the servant model of the priesthood- men who are called to lay down their lives for others. Father Langa said the experience was not always easy, but it was a gift. He treasured the opportunity to pray with, celebrate Mass and socialize with his brother seminarians.
He went on to St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe in fall 2005 to begin his theological studies. In addition, he received summer pastoral experience at St. Ferdinand in Cranberry Township, St. Benedict the Moor in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, Epiphany in Pittsburgh’s Uptown neighborhood and Our Lady of Fatima in Hopewell Township. “It was amazing to see how God was opening me up to so many opportunities,” he said. Father Langa was ordained to the diaconate last year on May 31 at St. Paul Cathedral.
As a priest, he looks forward to celebrating Mass and making Christ present through the consecration of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. He spoke of the importance of being a merciful, compassionate confessor who will make people feel comfortable in receiving the sacrament.
Father Langa said the beauty of the priesthood is that it will allow him to minister to people of all ages. For men considering a vocation, he spoke of the importance of staying close to the Lord through prayer and the celebration of the Eucharist, as well as through devotion to Mary through the rosary.
“Hopefully, you’ll hear where you’re being called,” he said. Father Langa is the son of David and Julia Ann Langa. He has one sister, Jennifer.