Alumnus Fr. Hezekias Carnazzo was featured on Marcus Grodi’s acclaimed “The Journey Home” on December 11, 2018, where he discussed his journey to back to Catholicism, his call to the priesthood, and the founding of his great apostolic work, the Institute of Catholic Culture.
Fr. Hezekias, who graduated from Christendom in 2004, took a winding road back to the Catholic faith after he left it as a young man. Divorce and his mother’s untimely passing impacted him greatly growing up, with the passing eventually bringing his father back to the Catholic faith, resulting in young Fr. Hezekias being baptized at the age of 10. Still, he did not fully commit to Catholicism until years later, when he sold his landscaping business in California, moved to Virginia, and enrolled at Christendom College at the age of 25.
“At Christendom, I experienced lived Christianity for the first time,” says Fr. Hezekias. “There’s a handful of really faithful Catholic colleges in the United States today, and they are sometimes accused of being a ‘bubble.’ Well, it is — Christendom College was a bubble, in exactly the way that it needed to be. Soldiers need to go to training camp first, and that is what that time at Christendom was: a four-year retreat for me, where I discovered Christ as the one who is the author of history, the wisdom of the philosophers, the revelation of theology, and the center of every aspect of our life. It was there at Christendom that I discovered that for the first time.”
At Christendom, Fr. Hezekias developed a sense of wonder and a desire for true happiness that he never knew before. As an older student, Fr. Hezekias took it upon himself to help other younger students there, even starting a Bible study group. He developed a love for teaching at Christendom as a result, especially teaching for adults. From this came his idea for the Institute of Catholic Culture: a multimedia center that delivers hundreds of hours of educational talks for Catholics throughout the year.