Fr. Jared De Leo is a Catholic convert. His mother was Lutheran; his father Catholic, but the family wasn’t active in either church. When he was in 7th Grade, his paternal grandmother began taking him to Mass, and the following year, Fr. Jared, his mother, and his sister came into the Church. They attended Queen of Peace Parish in Gainesville, where Fr. Jared was active in the youth group and peer ministry.
While he was attending Santa Fe Community College, his youth minister asked him to become a catechist, and he began to help prepare students for Confirmation. Later on, as a history major at the University of Florida, Fr. Jared got involved in campus ministry. During his college days, Fr. Jared said he developed a strong relationship with the Eucharist. “It really forced me to confront my faith and get to know it,” he said. While he was praying after Mass on March 20, 2010, he said he heard a voice inside him say, “Why don’t you become a priest?” “I got freaked out a little bit,” he said. “My prayer time got shorter because I didn’t want to hear that again. But if the Lord wants you, he’s going to get you.” At a youth conference, the priest was carrying the Eucharist in a procession and stopped in front of him. “I was flooded with peace,” Fr. Jared said. He began actively discerning his vocation.
Fr. Jared got more involved with campus ministry and FOCUS. He talked with the vocations director, who invited him to make a “Come and See” visit at St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami. “That is when I knew I was called,” Fr. Jared said. He decided not to complete his history degree, and instead enroll at St. John Vianney. He also studied at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach. While preparing to be a priest, Fr. Jared said: “I want to bring peace and merciful love to the Sacrament of Confession. I also want to preach the Gospel and make it relatable to people’s lives and bring out the joy in the Gospel.” Fr. Jared was ordained to the priesthood on June 20, 2020 and began his priestly ministry as a Parochial Vicar at St. Anastasia’s in St. Augustine for 3 years.
Bishop Erik Pohlmeier appointed Fr. Jared to be the Administrator at St. Monica's. We are happy to have him with us!
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