Each person is called to love and serve God, each in his or her own unique way. Some are called to be priests who “serve in the name and in the person of Christ the Head in the midst of the community…they serve the People of God by teaching, divine worship, and pastoral governance” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1591-1592). Others consecrate themselves to God in religious life, professing the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in order to serve God and the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 944-945). The people below are responding to God’s call by preparing to enter into the vocation of priesthood. Please pray for them as they continue on their journeys.
Seminarians Preparing for Priesthood
Deacon Joe Pedersen
Studying for Congregation of Holy Cross, Postulancy, Moresu Seminary, Notre Dame, IN
Interests: Hiking, Running, Camping, Reading, Cooking
Favorite Scripture verse: John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.”
Brief description of your discernment journey: I began to think about the priesthood when I was in high school. In college I was fortunate to witness the holy lives of the men of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Their spirituality and charism influenced me greatly. From there I came to Indianapolis and was lucky enough to work with Fr. Rick Nagel for two years. He showed me what a happy, healthy, and holy priesthood can look like. After two years of being closer to my family, I have decided to explore my vocation more deeply by entering the seminary for the priests of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
Advice for those who are discerning their vocation: God wants us to be happy. Doing God’s will gets us there.
Prayer requests: Please pray for my discernment, my family, and the men of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Thank you!
Deacon Robert Froeschl
Seminarian @ St. Gregory the Great Seminary (Seward, NE), Studying for the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln, NE
Interests: Outdoors, basketball, Husker football, trivia
Favorite Saint: St. John the Evangelist
Brief description of your discernment journey: I never seriously considered the priesthood as a vocation because I was so sure that I was going to be married. In college, I remember being told on numerous occasions that I should consider priesthood. Since I was always dating at the time, I took it that they were giving me a hard time. It wasn’t until Fall 2012 when I heard a gospel passage during the 7pm Young Adult Mass at St. John the Evangelist that I began to consider priesthood. That night I actually began to see myself as a priest. I also began to see how my skill-set might be well suited for the priesthood.
Advice for those discerning their vocation: I would go on dates. I would get a spiritual director. Most importantly, I would set aside a half hour each day in silence with Jesus (in a Catholic Church if possible.)
Deacon Jacob McDaniel
Seminarian @ Mundelein Seminary, Studying for the Diocese of Gary, IN
Interests/Hobbies: Video games, fishing, board games
Favorite Saint: St. Thomas Aquinas or St. John Paul II
Favorite Scripture verse: Romans 10: 14-15
Brief description of your discernment journey to where you are today: While I first felt a tug on my heart to the priesthood when I was in 8th grade, I started to seriously discern a vocation to the priesthood in college at IUPUI. It was the St. John’s community and campus ministry at IUPUI that taught me how live as a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ and gave me the tools to seriously discern a vocation. After discerning with a religious order after graduation, I felt God calling me to the diocesan life. I was accepted as a seminarian for the diocese of Gary, IN, and have been a seminarian ever since.
Advice for those who are discerning their vocation: Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, let God lead you to a good faith community, and have patience.
Prayer requests: For an increase in the culture of vocations in the United States, especially for the Diocese of Gary. For receptiveness to the Holy Spirit in continuing to discern a vocation to the priesthood.
Seminarian @ St. Meinrad Seminary, Studying for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis
Interests/Hobbies: Reading classic literature, hiking, enjoying libations amongst great friends, and playing board games.
Favorite Saint: St. Francis Xavier
Favorite Scripture verse: 2 Corinthians 12:9
Brief description of your discernment journey to where you are today: I was a fallen away Catholic before I got involved with the Catholic group at IUPUI. From there I encountered FOCUS missionaries who forever changed my life by investing in me and encouraging me to grow in my faith. I encountered Christ through their efforts and was determined to share Christ with the world. I served as a FOCUS missionary in Michigan for the past two years with the intention of entering the seminary after my commitment.
Advice for those who are discerning their vocation: Get into the habit of praying every day, even if it’s just 15 minutes each day. Frequent Mass and confession as much as possible. Get a spiritual director, if you don’t know what one is ask your local priest.
Prayer requests: For my continued pursuit of sanctity and for my future parishioners.
Seminarian @ St. Francis de Sales, Studying for the Diocese of Madison, WI
Interests/Hobbies: Running, playing piano, drinking coffee, playing/watching soccer
Favorite Saint: Favorite Scripture verse: Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph. Luke 24:13-35
Brief description of your discernment journey to where you are today: Came to the USA eleven years ago. Studied undergrad at Kent State University and Grad school at Ball State University. After a profound encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist decided to become a missionary with FOCUS. Served as missionary at IUPUI for two years and at UW- Platteville for three years. The Lord has been calling me to a more radical life these past years and discerned to enter the seminary. Can’t wait for what God has for me in the future!
Advice for those who are discerning their vocation: Pray daily and trust everything to our Lady of Guadalupe. She knows what is best for us as a good mom!
Prayer requests: For all seminarians, missionaries and religious. That we will not be afraid to proclaim Jesus crucified.