Miles racking up the miles as he learns about diocese

Seminarian Miles Swigart in the Chancery’s chapel. The Chancery is his home base for his summer assignment. (Advance photo)

Seminarian Miles Swigart is seeing the big picture a little better, although he is months away from his ordination into the transitional diaconate.

Miles, a third-year theology student at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago, is working with Ryan Purcell, director of Leadership in Missionary Discipleship this summer.

“Aside from a lot of odd jobs,” he said, “We drive around the diocese meeting with priests, building relationships with them, and seeing in what way we can help and support them.”

A better understanding of the diocese

Miles said his understanding of the diocese has vastly improved because of his visits to many parishes throughout south-central and southeast Kansas.
“I’m meeting a lot more priests and am able to meet with them in ways I couldn’t before,” he said.

Miles, a member of St. Patrick Parish in Kingman, said the road trips have been especially helpful because he grew up in the Diocese of Dodge City.
He said that his summer assignment has also helped him contemplate how he wants to live out his priesthood.

“What we do challenges priests to live out their priesthood in a different, more intentional way. That’s very exciting and interesting to me. It’s based on making relationships with people and making that relational aspect in the parish a greater priority.”

His visits to the parishes and his previous work in parishes is helping Miles form an idea of the kind of priest he’d like to be – and sitting in an office in front of a computer isn’t it.

“That’s really made me think about how I might be able to structure the way I spend my time in a parish.”

Miles will be returning to Mundelein in mid-August.