There are a lot of good law schools. St. Thomas stands out among them for having a faith-based mission. That’s why I chose to go to here: I wanted to be in a place where academic excellence was encouraged to draw from the Christian, and specifically, Catholic intellectual tradition. It takes courage to be a place that officially invokes Catholic tradition in today’s cultural climate.
It also takes courage to be a priest. After graduating from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in 2010, I entered Catholic seminary in the hopes of someday serving God and the Church as a priest of Jesus Christ. Persuing this path means freely giving up the possibility of getting married and having a biological family. It will also require promising obedience to my bishop and his successors: in other words, someone else will get to decide where I go and what I do. Why would someone willingly choose this path?
Because God is real. And, because He is worth giving everything up for. These two points are true for every person, whether they are Catholic or not; whether they believe in God or not. He’s there, and He loves each person. He loves us just exactly as we are. And at the same time, He wants us to change, so that we can become the kind of people who are capable of being happy with Him, in His all-holy presence, for eternity. Everyone likes the first part (God loves us), and nobody, including me, likes the second part (we need to change and repent).
What does this have to do with law school? Well, UST Law has a non-traditional mission, and I’m certainly on a non-traditional path for graduates of UST Law (or any law school). I didn’t go to law school thinking that I would enter seminary: that decision gradually emerged out of prayer, but it was aided by the faith-friendly atmosphere of UST Law, especially in the form of daily mass and the presence of priests and committed Christians on the faculty.
After finishing two years of philosophy studies at St. Paul Seminary, I am now in Rome doing my first of four years of theology, along with 250 other men from around the United States, Canada, and Australia. Our residence overlooks St. Peter’s basilica and the Vatican, providing a constant reminder of the fact that our unity comes through our loyalty to the successor of Peter: the Pope. God-willing, I’ll be ordained a priest in 2016, when I look forward to giving back to God out of the abundance of gifts He’s given me, not the least of which I count to be my time spent at our alma mater.
Please keep me in your prayers! UST Law remains in mine too, especially in this exciting time of new leadership. (Congratulations to Dean Vischer!)
Grateful to God and Alma Mater,