At the end of May, I graduated from my undergraduate studies, thus finishing my last year at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota; this is definitely a bittersweet experience. Although I am excited to move onto graduate studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, it is difficult to leave SJV. Through my time in seminary, I have grown in my relationship with God, and have come to know Him as a loving Father, a constant Companion and Friend. In a particular way, God has shown me how generously and thoroughly He provides in everything. Entering seminary was a big step in faith for me, but through it, God gave me a home, I received fathers, mothers, sisters and a house full of brothers, along with so many blessings and opportunities for growth. After receiving such a good gift, I now have the opportunity to offer it back to God. Looking at how abundantly God blessed my “yes” to enter seminary, I am confident that He will do more as I take the next step toward ordination.
Several weeks ago, I graduated from the University of St. Thomas and St. John Vianney College Seminary and have almost finished the application process for Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit where I will spend my last four years of seminary. Although it is hard for me to leave St. John Vianney and all the close friendships that formed during my time there, I am extremely excited to start at Sacred Heart in the Fall. Over the past four years the Lord has set my heart on fire and I have truly come alive. I know that he is calling me to continue onward and I am just excited to see how he will continue to work. I also want to take the time to thank all of you for your many prayers and support. It is only through the grace of God and your prayers that I have been able to grow so quickly in so many ways. This summer I will be attending the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University in Omaha. The program will go for two months and will be focused on spiritual formation and growth. Please keep me and all the seminarians in your prayers and know that I am praying for you.
As I reflect on the past four years at Saint John Vianney College Seminary, I am filled with gratitude. The rector said that seminary should be a school of love, and that is exactly what it is. I learned to love God, myself, and others as Christ invites us to do in the Gospels. Through learning to love I learned to pray in a deeper way, build Christcentered relationships, and foster a deeper desire for the priesthood. It was very difficult to leave seminary this spring because I knew some of these Christ-centered friendships would come to their earthly end, but a priest told us that there are no “goodbyes’ for a Christian; there are only “farewells” and “until next times.’ The Christian has something greater to hope for in heaven, and I look into the future with hope as I move on with my discernment. When I look back at the past four years, I can clearly see that Christ was with me and that the Father was guiding me by the light of the Holy Spirit. No matter what comes next, I can be confident that the Father is working all things for my good and that He will continue to form me into the man he has created me to be.