Thoughts from a seminarian’s summer

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Superior Diocesan seminarian Isaiah Schick shares a moment with Mother Superior Susana Caballero Cruz and Ana Cristina Marquez during a picnic in support of the ministry needs of the Hispanic community within the diocese. Schick served as a translator with Marquez while two Mexican sisters visited parishes where members of their order will be stationed in the southern region of the diocese. (Submitted photo)

Isaiah Schick, Diocese of Superior seminarian, Minnesota native and Franciscan University of Steubenville alumni, spent much of his summer serving as an intern with the Office of Catholic Formation. He shared some of his experiences, as well as thoughts on his recent Rite of Candidacy for the diocesan priesthood.

In and around the diocese

“Working with the Office of Catholic Formation at the Bishop Hammes Center in Haugen this summer was an amazing experience.

Besides being able to work with the diocesan staff there, all of whom I look up to and joyfully anticipate working with in the future (God-willing), and besides being able to utilize my catechetics undergraduate degree, it was a blessed opportunity to be able to meet various priests, parishioners, parish staff, and other individuals throughout the Diocese of Superior.

My discernment was furthered, as such meetings were both personally and vocationally edifying, and I was grateful to receive so much support as I begin my second year at seminary and my first year of theological studies (after “pre-theology,” or philosophical studies).

One of the most unique opportunities that I had this summer was to collaborate with Ana Marquez as a translator for the two sisters from Mexico City who visited this summer in preparation for the other members of their order who will be arriving in Wisconsin later this year. It was exciting to see how the Church’s outreach is growing in the northern part of our state and is addressing the needs and concerns of the people of God, my brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Holy Spirit is moving here and now.”

Humbled by God’s call

“Dan (Tracy) and I were admitted as official candidates Aug. 10 at the 4 p.m. vigil Mass, one of three rites which precede Holy Orders. Permanent deacons also go through them, the other two being the institutions of lector and acolyte.

Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, where we both study, has men go through the Rite of Admission to Candidacy at the beginning of the four years of theological studies.

It isn’t a very long rite, but it was a very significant experience.

To be standing in a sanctuary in front of the bishop, near the altar, in front of a congregation, saying “I do” in response to two questions that indicate commitment to the Church and to ongoing priestly formation … It had a sense of gravity to it that was very humbling.

The thoughts begin to go through one’s head: “Who am I that Christ and his Church should call me to be formed as a potential candidate for orders? I’m not particularly holy, nor am I particularly qualified for this…” but then the reality strikes you that the Lord works in mysterious ways, and that he did “not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners,” (Luke 5:32) and that he makes all things new (Revelation 21:5).

As Bishop James P. Powers prayed at the end of the rite: “May God, who has begun the good work in you, bring it to fulfillment.”

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