For Deacon Jayke White, the moment he realized his vocational calling took place at a very young age.
“I was 3 years old, sitting in Mass with my parents, and I turned to my mom and grabbed her face and said, ‘I want to do what Father is doing,’” Deacon Jayke says. “She asked me what I meant, and what did I think Father was doing? I said, ‘He is talking about Jesus and everybody is listening.’”
While growing up, Deacon Jayke was always considering new ideas about what he wanted to do when he got older — however, he always came back around to being a priest.
“In high school, I decided I needed to make the big decision, and after graduating I entered seminary,” Deacon Jayke says. “After a couple years, I stepped away, met a wonderful woman, and fell in love. But, I realized that while I was happy, I wasn’t as happy as when I was pursuing the priesthood.”
Deacon Jayke reentered seminary in 2018 at Saint Meinrad Seminary. He was ordained a transitional deacon on May 26, 2023.
This past summer, St. Peter was the parish that Deacon Jayke got to call home. Throughout his time in seminary, he has been a summer intern at St. Thomas Church and the Cathedral. In 2016 he taught as a Totus Tuus missionary, and during the summer of 2022, he served as a full-time hospital chaplain.
“When I entered seminary I was a very talkative person,” Deacon Jayke says. “But I have learned how to find God in silence and to appreciate the silence when it is given to me. Throughout my time in seminary I have been learning to make space for others by being silent so I can listen better. I’ve learned to find God in the people He places around me.”
Deacon Jayke has always loved school and has had a strong desire to learn. Seminary has provided him with an amazing opportunity to dive into some of the most important topics on earth.
“My personal favorite has been Church history,” he says. “I’ve always been fascinated by history in general. But learning why our Church is what it is, and to see how it has changed, but also how it has held fast from the way that Christ instituted it, has been incredible.”
Deacon Jayke is grateful for the warm welcome that he received here at St. Peter. Coming to St. Peter as a transitional deacon meant that he was taking on new roles — mainly preaching. He has been blessed and grateful for the opportunities he has had to practice and grow in confidence.
“I ask that the parishioners at St. Peter keep me in their prayers as I prepare, God willing, for my ordination next year,” Deacon Jayke says. “I am in need of any prayers they can offer, and I will be praying for them long after I have left. I have felt incredibly welcomed in this place.”