ROME -

At the North American College at the Vatican, the best and brightest candidates for the priesthood from the United States complete their advanced studies. It’s where Houston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo studied, and also where Houstonian David Angelino is studying for the priesthood.

As a boy, Angelino played soccer, learned karate and did many of the things boys do. But, a drawing from when he was in grade school also showed that he was thinking about the priesthood, even back then. Yet, he was still undecided when he began applying for admission to college.

Tom and Peggy Angelino watched their son’s struggle about which way to go. They told Local 2’s Bill Balleza that one weekend while they were enjoying their coffee, Angelino walked into their study and said, “I think I’d like to be a priest.”

He started at the University of St. Thomas for a semester, but soon decided that he wanted to be in the seminary.

“He went through all the interviews, psychological testing, everything they do before they admit the men to the seminary and he got himself accepted,” said Tom.

Angelino went to an undergraduate seminary in Dallas and just when he was about to transfer to St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, a new opportunity arose.

“There was a small chance that he would be selected to go to Rome, and we thought it was a low probability,” said Tom. “He said, well, you know, you have to be really smart to go to Rome. He just didn’t think they would ask him,” said Peggy.

But they did ask, and now Angelino is at the Vatican. As he waited for the naming of the new pope and watched the Papal Conclave, the future priest was absorbing the role that history has played in his journey to the priesthood.

Angelino will be ordained as a deacon at St. Peter’s Basilica in 18 months. He will later be ordained into the priesthood by Cardinal DiNardo in Houston.

Angelino is one of four Houstonians studying for the priesthood at the Vatican. DiNardo told Local 2 that he plans to have Angelino and the others teach part time at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, helping other Houston men who hope to become priests one day.