The archdiocese’s two seminarians also attended the vocations dinner last month, where they dispelled a few myths and shared how they discerned their vocation.
For 42-year-old seminarian Arthur Roraff, his exploration of the priesthood picked up speed after a friend urged him to sell his business and begin searching in earnest.
This fall, he entered St. Paul Seminary in Minnesota.
When first considering seminary, Roraff said it was difficult to imagine a life without the potential for a marital relationship and children.
“Those are good things that you give up,” he told those gathered at the vocations dinner. But he added, that within celibacy God does not call men to be priests by giving up their manhood.
“Realize that God will not stop you from being men if he calls you to be a priest,” he said. “In fact, in this culture, we need real men to be priests.”
And for seminarians who ultimately discover that the priesthood is not their calling, the seminary is still helpful, Roraff said.
“If you are called to be a husband and a father, this is still good ground for you,” he said. “If you have this question and you don’t get it answered, there is potential that this will linger in your mind. If you don’t at least discern and check it off, then you may regret it later.”
But the discernment process is not just about seeking personal happiness, Roraff said.
“If you are searching for your own happiness, you will not find it, because it is a by-product of having Christ in the center of your life,” he said.
The archdiocese’s other seminarian Patrick Brosamer also shared some of his experiences of seminary.
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A fourth-year seminary student, the 35-year-old Brosamer has three years of formation left and is attending Mt. Angel Seminary in Oregon.
He reiterated Roraff’s point that it is a mistake to think of seminary as a waste of time if one ultimately discerns no call to the priesthood.
“Even if you drop out, that’s okay,” he said. “Some guys leave seminary but they don’t regret it, because it makes you a better man.”
For Brosamer, seminary confirmed many of the lingering thoughts that he has carried for a long time.
“I’ve known since I was a little boy that God wanted me to be a priest, it just took me a long time to answer his call,” he explained. “It took a quarter century.”
God still calls