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TO ROME AND BACK: The new priest at Anniston’s Sacred Heart church taught at the Vatican, spoke at the funeral of a pope

John McDonald

John McDonald grew up in Alabama in the small town of Citronelle, near Mobile. From the time he was a child, he wanted to be a priest.

It was the summer of 2002 when a young John McDonald arrived in Anniston as a seminarian. As part of his theological studies, he spent a month working alongside the parish priest at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church.

“Being a student of theology is not just about book education,” he said recently. “It’s also about formation; being docile enough to observe and learn and become the type of priest Jesus wants us to be.”