"Wherever my journey takes me, I know that I will always seek to foster and strengthen communities just as they have strengthened me.  I will also strive to spread understanding of the truth such that we Catholics can confidently assert what we believe and why we believe it."

Mr. Tristan Schubert

North American College, Rome
Theology I

 

My first instance of hearing God calling to me was the first time I went to adoration at a day-long retreat my senior year of high school.  After an outpouring of love and joy, I knew I was called, but I had no idea for what task.  I had already built up a strong Catholic community in my youth group and actively sought out a similar community when I went to college in the Newman center at UC Davis.  In this time my faith grew immeasurably; I learned to actively consider my faith at a much deeper level, to question and seek answers that I was always able to find in the rich intellectual traditions of the church.

The calling from God that I felt shifted from purely a faith journey for myself to a desire to give back what I had received, but it did not turn towards priestly discernment until halfway through my senior year of college.  I was nearing the completion of my bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering, but the closer I got to the end the more I could tell that it wasn’t the right path for me.  I had never truly considered priesthood before, but one night the thought popped into my head and I could not get rid of it.  It was simultaneously attractive and terrifying as it quieted the discordant feelings that I had, but meant that I would have to truly surrender my will over to God’s direction.  I needed to give up all the plans and aspirations I had for my life, which at first brought me great pain, but later brought peace.

The two greatest contributions to my discernment have been tight-knit, welcoming Catholic communities and the great depths of logical and intellectual reasoning behind all Catholic teachings which always have another layer.  Wherever my journey takes me, I know that I will always seek to foster and strengthen communities just as they have strengthened me.  I will also strive to spread understanding of the truth such that we Catholics can confidently assert what we believe and why we believe it.

I am answering a vocational call to seminary because I believe God is calling me towards this study, and has been for much of my life, even if I couldn’t see it at the time.  Entering seminary will enable me to grow continually as I learn about God and how he makes His will known to us.  I expect that living in a seminary community will especially help improve my prayer life, which can always be improved.  The community of faith is far stronger than the faith of one individual. I know that those around me will bolster my faith just as I will support theirs.