Father John Nepil Experiences Suffering on his Path to Knowledge of God

‘The first challenge was over activism’

The suffering was a profound frustration with the way I was trying to medicate my life

Published on: 11th October 2012 — 10:03 AM / OBS: North America

music by: Xx, Gregory Alan Isakov, Efterklang

DENVER, CO, USA — By God’s grace, this mission is often blessed to travel across this great nation in pursuit of the ‘one billion Catholic stories.’ But sometimes our team does not have to go far, just up to the mighty Rocky Mountains. During our adventures in the mountains, the opportunity to encounter apostolates within the Catholic faith often arise. These encounters are filled with grace everytime. Why? Because of people like the man in today’s story. Click play and listen to this three minute story. You will understand why the Catholic faith has a chance to come roaring back in the 21st century. Does the name Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati ring a bell?

Founder and President of OneBillionStories.com, Seth James DeMoor

Seth J. DeMoor

Founder & Video Missionary, USA

[email protected]

In the proposition of a 21st century life’s journey, how often do we Americans stop to appreciate a physical challenge and adventure? The first obstacle for Father John Nepil’s high school days was in fact over activism, a physical challenge in the Denver Colorado day to day grind; which far too often captures the soul of many Americans, rural and urban. Whether it is band practice, hockey, or the spelling bee in 5th grade, the pursuit of earthly victory often overshadows the race toward eternal victory in the culture. The hustle we find in the 21st century is not a light subject in today’s video. In fact, pursuing everything possible in high school eventually led to burnout, and other extracurricular activities that we shall not mention here, but he does in the video.


Eventually, the burnout in America was too much for this cradle Catholic. Enough was enough, so John Nepil and his friends ‘medicated’ by going outdoors as one option in high school. God’s blessings upon the state of Colorado are often reaped by it’s locals in the high country as we natives call the sacred tundra and crisp treeline (where Deer turn to Elk for all you non-natives). It was here, in mountains similar to the Italian Alps, where Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati ventured, and where Father John Nepil began to find answers to this life’s wild journey on the front line. By the end of this story from Father John Nepil, the essence of adventure is clear, resolute, and addicting, as proven by the crowd on top of Quandary Peak; a Colorado 14er that rises 14,265 feet above sea level.

Why would a group of college students follow a man of faith to the top of a mountain; And a group of CU- students none the less! A collection of youth eager for life, fun, adventure…and purpose, yes! The images from the video above shed light to that purpose driven college experience that most students miss out on, but which Fr. John is quickly sharing with the JPII generation, and beyond. Watch, listen, and soak in the beauty of creation with Aquinas Alpine and OBS!

OneBillionStories.com Contributor - Seth James DeMoor
@SethJamesDeMoor — 303.709.3804



First: Galatians 3:1-5
Psalm: Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75
Gospel: Luke 11:5-13

1. Baptism in the River Jordan
2. Wedding Feast at Cana
3. Transfiguration
4. Proclamation
5. Institution of the Eucharist

  • Maureen

    Absolutely beautiful!

  • joseph

    grace in the wilderness

  • http://www.OneBillionStories.com/ OneBillionStories.com

    Thanks for viewing Maureen! Just curious, what was your favorite scene?

  • http://www.OneBillionStories.com/ OneBillionStories.com

    thanks for carrying the crane to capture that grace!

  • Greg Rice

    Great stuff, Seth. Keep up the good work

  • http://www.OneBillionStories.com/ OneBillionStories.com

    Much oblige Greg. This is only the beginning!

  • Mike Degitis

    Seth, it was such a blessing to have you join Aquinas Alpine! What an awesome video my friend, it was great to get to know you on the hike up!

  • http://www.OneBillionStories.com/ OneBillionStories.com

    Mike, it was an honor to share Mass with you at 14,000 feet above sea level Just curious, what was your favorite part of FJ’s story?

  • Mike Degitis

    Dude I loved how the story just absolutely came alive with the realization of a conversion. Right then and there we come to see the glory in suffering and that’s brought alive not only in the Eucharist but the mountains and everything that surrounds us.

  • Claudia

    Wonderful! Inspiring message, good quality video!

  • dbarto667

    God bless Fr John Nepil.

  • Jen Samayoa

    This made me think of the song ‘The Answer’ by Shane & Shane. Father Nepil found THE ONE who offers an answer to all suffering and all searching. Seth, this was awesome.

  • http://www.OneBillionStories.com/ OneBillionStories.com

    Thanks Jen for watching! Just curious, what was your favorite shot?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.demoor Joseph M. DeMoor

    A very moving testimony that should be a part of every faith formation study program for teens in our Catholic Church. Thank your team for the 14000 plus climb and outreach ministry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.w.westhoff Mark William Westhoff

    I’ve heard this story before, as Father John is one of my parish priests, but you made an already beautiful narrative come alive in a whole new way, Seth! The story of that priest leaving the 99 to pursue him, and how he helped to affect such a powerful and lasting conversion, is absolutely beautiful and inspiring for all of us who are trying to follow Christ’s call for evangelization .

  • http://www.OneBillionStories.com/ OneBillionStories.com

    Favorite shot Mark? Thanks for watching and sharing. FJ is in the perfect spot there in Boulder.

  • JPB in CO

    Absolutely beautiful and inspiring! We are blessed to know Fr. John as well. He is a great role model for our young people. We are still waiting, hoping and praying for our lost coin…sheep….Thankful for all those who share their stories here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/coryheimann Cory Heimann

    Great work, awesome piece. What’s the music in this video?

  • http://www.OneBillionStories.com/ OneBillionStories.com

    -Music Artists: Xx, Gregory Alan Isakov, Efterklang
    Thanks for watching Cory, means a lot to get your feedback. More to come soon

  • http://www.facebook.com/Lita.hoff.143 Helen Lita Hoff

    Thank you Father John for sharing your beautiful and meaningful story. Finally, i can place a face with your voice :) Keep up the great work and blessings to you …

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  • Mary Bradley

    Have known Fr. John as our parish priest for over a year, always knew he was Blessed, a very special person, now I know why everything he says resonates in my heart and soul, he is an awesome gift!!

  • GaryLockhart

    Trustful surrender to Divine providence.

  • Kate

    Love, love love. That was great. I hope I can be there for a mass at 14k+ ft someday.

  • http://plusjames.tumblr.com James

    This is excellent Seth! Great production value, really glad to see this coming from OBS.

  • Becca Messall

    Seth, this is beautiful. Favorite shot was at 2:25 when you pan upwards. I got chills.

  • http://www.OneBillionStories.com/ OneBillionStories.com

    Thank you Becca for viewing Fr John’s story. 2:25 was indeed an epic moment.

  • http://www.OneBillionStories.com/ OneBillionStories.com

    For all those that liked this video, if you could toss up a quick prayer for all of our current donors who made this happen; and also for more people to become supporters of this mission so that we can continue to bring epic footage to computer screens around the world. THanks ahead of time. In Christ

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  • dbarto667

    Fr John Nepel : just watching 3-18-13- the Journey Home on EWTN on Fr John Saward an Anglican priest who with his wife were brought to the Catholic Church through The Incarnation at a Catholic Mass in a Catholic Church in England.What captivates me is he looks exactly like my saintly Uncle-Fr.John Capuano -who must be filled with joy in heaven on hearing this testimony to my uncles life on earth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maureen.sullivan.9085 Maureen Sullivan

    When I consider what God did for you and look at the youth of today it makes me realize that there is hope and that God is like the hound of heaven—-loving and persistently pursuiing us. God bless you Father Seth

  • http://www.OneBillionStories.com/ OneBillionStories.com

    Maureen, thanks for your inspiring words. I hope your story is someday shared with others on this mission!

  • dbarto667

    As Mother Angelica has said many times :”What a wonderful world God has created.”God works through people and He is asking us now to perfect what He has so magnificently created by doing His will on earth as it is in heaven.Peace be with you.

  • Fr. Philip Kemmy

    See your taking it to a whole new level Seth. A wonderful piece of film and a wonderful testimony from this priest.

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