Julian Druffner received admission to candidacy for Holy Orders at St. Francis de Sales Seminary in late September. Bishop James P. Powers celebrated the Mass with diocesan vocations director Fr. Thomas Thompson and associate director Fr. Patrick McConnell, among concelebrating priests. Druffner’s parents, Mark and Molly Druffner, were also present as were the five other diocesan seminarians assisting in the liturgy as acolytes and lector. (Submitted photo)

Jenny Snarski
Catholic Herald Staff

Each and every vocational call is unique and individual as is the path one follows in responding to God’s invitation. Hudson native Julian Druffner, a third-year theology student, is one of the growing group of seminarians, but his path to Superior is one-of-a-kind.

The second of seven children, he was raised by parents who kept them actively involved in faith formation, youth retreats, altar serving, mission trips and general parish life. As a teen, Druffner spent a lot of time on the basketball court, in the woodshop, fishing on the St. Croix River and cooking in the kitchen with his family.

“I received a call from the Lord to pursue the priesthood at a young age,” the seminarian shared. “I knew the priests in my life were men of joy, gratitude and Christian virtue.”

As a young man willingly open to the idea of a vocation, Druffner felt particularly inspired by his parents’ zeal and service with medical mission work.

Wanting, like them, to serve the church on an international level, he was drawn to religious life with the Congregation of the Holy Cross. Druffner joined the order and began his studies at Moreau Seminary at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

During Druffner’s eight years with the congregation, he was drawn closer to Jesus in the Eucharist, directly served the poor and grew through the brotherhood of community life.

“With many hours discerning the vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience with Holy Cross, I began to realize that the Lord was not calling me to be a religious overseas, but a priest in my home diocese,” Druffner said.

He responded to God’s call, applied to St. Francis de Sales Seminary for the Diocese of Superior and was accepted in July.

“With hope in the Lord,” Druffner added, “I will have two years left in my seminary education before diaconate ordination.”