Weber’s parents were “very supportive” about his plans to enter the seminary, as were his teammates at Kansas State.
“I was a little nervous to share [his seminary plans] with them, but when I did share it they were all very supportive of it and surprised,” he said. His teammates peppered him with questions, mainly about how he would be giving up the possibility of marriage.
“And so, a lot of questions, but really, a lot of support. I was surprised by how they thought it was a very cool thing that I would do something different,” said Weber. “That's something I would say that I love about the game of football and the guys on a football team; it's very much a melting pot of guys from all over the country – very diverse, melting pot of guys that come from different backgrounds and different walks of lives, and everyone loves each other for who they are within the team.”
Weber drew parallels between being part of a storied football program to his potential role as a priest.
“Something cool about football is that when you play college football, you're a part of something that's bigger than you,” he said, adding that people plan vacations and their weekends around Kansas State football. “It’s a ginormous part of their lives and you get to be on the field responsible for playing this game and providing people joy and bringing people together.”
The idea of becoming a priest and the feeling of entering seminary is a “very similar feeling,” said Weber.
“I get to be a part of something that’s much bigger than me, and I get to help out in a way that I’m very unworthy of being a part of,” he said.
And while Weber says the attention to his vocation is “flattering,” he feels “extremely unworthy of that attention.”
“There are tons of other men saying ‘yes’ to the seminary, being ordained priests,” he said. “My ‘yes’ is no more special than theirs. And so I almost feel bad for the attention that I get, because what they’re doing is incredible.”
*While Darren Rovell likely hadn’t heard this type of announcement before at a bowl game, there have actually been a handful of former NCAA D1 football players entering seminary in recent years.
Christine Rousselle is a former DC Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. Prior to working at CNA, she was the managing web editor of Townhall.com; she has a BA in political science from Providence College.