Seminarian – Andrew Rudmann
By the age of twelve, every time I heard a homily about the lack of priestly vocations, I felt like the priest was speaking directly to me – I hated that! I would always return from these masses feeling very guilty, scared, and angry. I begged the Lord to take these feelings away from me and asked Him if He could please plan something else for my life.
As the years progressed, the feeling that I might be called to the priesthood became stronger and even more uncomfortable. Often, thoughts of the priesthood would make me depressed, anxious, and would cause me to have trouble falling asleep at night. I prayed every day that the Lord would deliver me from this burden.
In college, my spiritual life greatly matured and I decided to revise my lifelong prayer. Instead of simply asking to be delivered, I began to pray: “Lord, if it is truly your will that I become your priest, then change my heart to desire it. If it is not your will, please grant me your peace and bless me in another way.”
A year after graduating college, God had answered my prayer. I was a few months away from proposing to an absolutely incredible girl, I was accepted into pharmacy school, and I had a great job. God had blessed me with everything I ever wanted, but there was one problem – I was unhappy – unfulfilled.
I didn’t understand why I could feel so unfulfilled when I was living the life I had always dreamed of. After a great deal of prayer and reflection, I realized that the answer was simple: Love. God created me to love in a specific way, a radical way. I loved the people in my life very much, but this life was not allowing me to love enough. God was calling me to love people in the deepest way, to care for their very hearts. This is the love of a priest.
It was this understanding that finally ignited the flame of desire in my heart, to lay down my life in love of my people, every day as their priest. After 16 years of struggling with the call, I was finally at peace.
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