As I mentioned before, I was totally wrong in my impression that most seminarians were college grads. One of the most incredible things for me thus far has been getting to interact with the college seminarians. They come from a huge variety of background and span a wide range of ages. It’s been a pleasure to meet these men and find out the unique ways God worked in their lives to get them here.
This was taken at Six Flags last week (we do have fun!). In this picture there is one college graduate (me), one guy who entered seminary after three years of college, one guy who entered seminary after one year of college, and three guys who entered seminary straight out of high school.
Patrick is a crazy cool dude. He hails from Aiken, South Carolina and is a part of the Diocese of Charleston. In High School he visited HTS three different times and walked away last year convinced that God was calling him to seminary studies. He graduated high school in May and is now a freshman seminarian. Patrick actually turned 18 last week, on the day before school starts, which makes him the youngest possible seminarian you can be. He’s a total beast at water polo and an all-around sporty dude.
It turns out Patrick and I have met before. While I was serving at Covecrest in 2011 and 2012, Patrick was a camper with his parish in Aiken. Both years he attended camp I was there as a summer missionary. At dinner last week I recognized his parish name, and we had an awesome time sharing memories of how God worked in our lives through the ministry of Life Teen. HOW COOL!
Josh is a fellow Aggie and Austin Diocese brother. He felt in High School that God might be calling him to serve as a priest, but he was not ready to enter immediately after graduation. He spent his freshman year of college at Texas A&M (WHOOP!) and there had an opportunity to live his faith in a new environment with a new, loving community. In prayer throughout the year, he felt it was abundantly clear that God was actually calling him to leave a place he loved (College Station and St Mary’s) in order to pursue a greater call. Josh is a fantastic writer and is WAY more mature than your average 19 year old. He asks the most genuine “How are you doing?” I’ve ever encountered and has come to be one of my best friends here.
Stephen is a seminarian from the Diocese of Tyler. He grew up in Georgia and started college at Georgia Southern University. While there he studied Exercise Science and planned to enter PT school. Throughout college he felt that God might be calling him to the priesthood, but he never wanted to move on that possibility. Last year, in the middle of his senior year, he couldn’t put off the feeling anymore and decided to uproot. He was 16 hours (!!!) from finishing a college degree but was convinced that God had other plans. His family had recently moved to Tyler, and after working with the diocese for a semester he decided to apply to be a seminarian there. While this is his first year in seminary, he is classified as a sophomore and will graduate in three years. Stephen is a triathlete who shows all of us up with his workouts and friendly demeanor.
These are just a few of the awesome men I have the pleasure of living and taking classes with. Please pray for all of them as they continue to discern God’s will for their life.