Seminarians talk to youth about discerning God’s plan for them

Five students from the Diocese of Wichita studying at St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., visited Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School in Wichita to talk about what it’s like at a seminary. From left, are David Darland, Paul Saghbene, Zachary Pinaire, Sam Brand, and Eric Nichols.

By Christopher M. Riggs
Five seminarians of the Diocese of Wichita studying at St. John Vianney Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., plowed through the snow at the end of January to talk about their seminary experience to youth of the diocese.
Sam Brand, a member of St. Catherine of Sienna Parish, Wichita, said he had a great experience speaking to the students.
“It made us realize how we are blessed in this diocese because of our Catholic schools,” he said last week while on his way back to the seminary. “We went through our own vocation stories, how we got to seminary, and we talked about seminary life.
“We also gave our own advice about how to discern God’s personal call.”
Brand said he and the other four seminarians talked to the young men about seminary life to remove any misconceptions they might have. “I had my own misconceptions that weren’t answered until I went to seminary. I thought we would be praying 24/7.”
He added that seminary life is like any other college experience – with prayer and formation added. “Other than that, It’s pretty normal,” Brand said. “The food is good, too, with plenty of diversity and a sandwich bar.”

Father Michael Simone praised their work.
“I am grateful for the generosity of our seminarians in giving of their time and talent and to our schools for opening their doors,” he said.
“Our seminarians are a great witness of those aspiring to the priesthood, and our schools are fertile grounds for our next generation of seminarians.”
The other four seminarians making the trip were Zachary Pinaire of St. Mary Parish, Derby-Rose Hill; David Darland of St. Mary Parish, Derby; Eric Nichols, of St. Mark Parish, St. Mark; and Paul Saghbene of St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Wichita. All five of the seminarians are in their last year of college studies. They will begin their first year of theology in the fall.
The five men started their tour in Southeast Kansas with Father Lawrence D. Carney III at St. Michael Parish, Girard, and Father Jason W. Borkenhagen of St. Patrick Parish, Parsons. Through the rest of last week they talked to students at Trinity High School in Hutchinson; Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Wichita; and Andale High School, Andale.