The Diocese of St. Cloud has 13 seminarians in priestly formation at five seminaries.
Some men enter the seminary right after graduating from high school or while they are attending their first four years of college. These men enter at the college level, or minor seminary. After graduation, they move on to four years of theology at a major seminary.
Other men discern their calling to the priesthood after they have completed college. These men enter what is called “pre-theology,” usually at a major seminary for two years, and then enter four additional years of theology.
In honor of National Vocation Awareness Week, Nov. 5-11, The Visitor is featuring “snapshots” of the diocese’s newest seminarians, who share something about themselves and their vocational calling.
Home parish: St. Louis Bertrand, Foreston
Seminary and year of study: St. John Vianney College Seminary, St. Paul, College 1
Most loved book or movie: Tough choice, but I will have to say that it is “The Scarlet and the Black.”
Favorite college course so far: I would have to say Philosophy is my favorite course, although it is also my hardest course.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life it would be: Salad because there is such a variety of them
What makes you laugh the most: A good pun
Favorite prayer: The Serenity prayer
Song you would sing at karaoke night: Either “The Music of the Night” from the Broadway show “The Phantom of the Opera” or “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran.
Top three hobbies or activities: I like to play piano and sing, bike, and read a good book.
• Who is your favorite saint and why?
One of the many saints that I am inspired by is St. Joan of Arc due to her immense courage in the face of conflict. St. Joan of Arc is a model of courage for me because, despite her youth, she led a French army to free her homeland from the English invaders. She also was martyred for her faith by the English. Perhaps the most amazing form of courage she showed though was her dedication to God’s plan for her life no matter how difficult it was.
• Who has been instrumental in helping form your faith? How?
Hands down, learning how to actually pray has been instrumental in helping me form my faith. Whenever I say this, people look at me weird and say, “You’re Catholic, you should know how to pray.” But there is a difference between praying and praying from your heart. Praying sometimes can be only us talking to God and asking him for things, whereas praying from your heart not only requires us to talk to God but also requires us to listen as well. It is in the listening to God that we hear God speaking to us. Sometimes it is subtle and other times it is obvious. For me, this silent prayer has helped me discern more clearly the decisions I face daily, to find peace in the busy life I live, and to be nourished so that I can be a witness for Christ.
• What advice would you give to someone who might be called to a religious vocation?
For someone discerning a call to a religious vocation, I would suggest spending time in silent prayer, finding someone to walk with you in your time of discernment and to actually pursue your interest in a religious vocation. Prayer is absolutely essential for discerning a call to religious life, but it has to be prayer spent in silence where you can listen for God’s desire for your life. Finding someone to walk with you in your spiritual life is also important because it holds you accountable and prevents you from ignoring the voice of God. Lastly, you must actually pursue your interest in a religious vocation and take steps to explore it; otherwise it is tough to follow through with this desire.