We are excited to announce the latest video for our Buckeye Vocations YouTube channel. This time we were able to sit down with Deacon Jarred Kohn who was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate on April 29, 2017 and is about to enter his final year of seminary formation before being ordained a priest. In this first video he talks about his discernment journey and gives us some great advice on how to deal with doubt in discernment. Enjoy!
For those who would rather not watch the video, the full transcript is below.
Full Video Transcript:
Where do you call home?
My home parish is St. Mary in Philothea, which is up in the Coldwater Cluster which is in Mercer County or “God’s country” as we like to call it back home.
How long have you been in the seminary?
Well, I think it would be 7 or 8 years depending on how you count. I started in 2009, which would be 8 years, but I did take a year off after my freshman year, just [sic] discernment can be tricky.
So, why did you decide to leave?
I didn’t actually decide after my freshman year that, “Okay, this isn’t for me; I need to take a year off,” or whatever. My intention was, at the end of that year, to come back. But I was working somewhere and I had to be there at 4:45 in the morning which meant that, I never really got to daily Mass, that often. But it was also at 4:45 in the morning so I wasn’t dedicated enough to do Liturgy of the Hours and pray the Office of Readings or morning prayer that I now promise to do everyday but at the time it wasn’t necessarily a requirement. So, my spiritual life, kind of, you know, wasn’t as important at that time. And as a result of that I think I began to waver. Also, kind of, entering seminary I never intended to go to college after high school, so it was a difficult year to adjust to academic life, to life in the city; all these different factors (being away from my family), all kind of hit me the summer coming back.
So what happened next?
I called the vocation director at the time and he said, “Take a year. Do what you need to do.” So, I called the rector at Brute College Seminary and he was also very supportive. So I began working and my summer job eventually transferred into going back to a welding career which meant working third shift. That was actually pretty nice for the spiritual life in a way because I could get home early in the morning, go to morning Mass, do my morning prayer and office of readings, then go to bed. Then I’d wake up, and was able to do evening prayer, night prayer and all that stuff, so it kind of got me back into a rhythm. Once that started happening, then all of a sudden God began speaking again like, “Hey, what about seminary?”
What other ways did you develop your prayer life?
As I mentioned, going to Mass more frequently. I was pretty much going everyday but, you know, that isn’t necessary and perhaps isn’t even practical for everybody, but going as often as you can, even during the week. But then also, frequent confession was also a big thing. It helps us to clear out the obstacles that are keeping us from the Lord and helps us also to examine what is going on in our heart and kind of flood out what is our self-will and what is our sinful nature and sort out what is that part of us that is naturally attracted to God. Then there is private prayer. I feel blessed in growing up in a country parish because still to this day, we have 24 hours a day that the church is open so to spend that private time with the Lord in the blessed sacrament has always been a source of, you know, has always been the most important part of my spiritual life; the opportunity to spend that time with Lord has always been that key.
How do you deal with doubt in discernment?
You know I think it’s an important aspect of taking on the diaconate and priesthood but it’s also an element that can make guys waver, it’s that realization that, “I’m not worthy of this.” Which is true! But it’s also not yours to take on. It’s really Christ who is really taking you into his life and his own ministry. It is not something you can simply posses by your own merit. I’m never going to be a good priest because I’m Jarred; I’m going to be a good priest because I’ve allowed Christ to take ownership of my heart and I’ve taken ownership of his and so we have that mutual relationship. So without some recognition that I’m a flawed human being and in some ways I’m also a goofy and quirky guy but somehow Jesus is still calling me to this and calls other guys who are all different and he wants to speak through each one of our personalities to the people of God and wants to, you know, draw the entire world to himself. It’s just crazy. It’s awesome!
This past Saturday was another great day for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati as 4 young men- Craig Best, Jarred Kohn, Andrew Smith and Jacob Willig- were ordained transitional deacons by Bishop Joseph Binzer at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains. It was a beautifully celebrated ceremony with a palpable sense of joy emanating from the newly ordained men, Bishop Binzer, the concelebrating priests, the numerous permanent deacons who came to celebrate and the entire assembly! To relive this wonderful day or to check out a few of the highlights that you missed, go to our newest photo gallery below! Please continue to pray for these men as they now enter their last year of formation toward priesthood.
On Friday, March 24, 2017, the seminarians of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West will once again be hosting Vigil Praise, an evening of Eucharistic adoration for people of all ages, including families young and old!
This evening will be led by Fr. Jason Williams who, in addition to presiding over the Rite of Exposition and Benediction, will also be preaching on Mary’s fiat on the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation.
The evening will begin at 7pm and will conclude with an evening social following benediction at 8:00pm. There is no charge for this event!
For more information, click on the flyer image above.
For the first time in more than 10 years, the Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West welcome weekend, that runs from tomorrow evening through Saturday evening, March 17-18, will see 16 men from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati discerning their own call to the priesthood.
Generally, we expect that about a half dozen men from any one diocese will be interested in attending a “come and see weekend” such as this. By God’s grace and the courage of the men to respond to God’s call, nearly three times that average number will be in attendance tomorrow evening.
Many of these men are just beginning their journey of discernment. They have felt the Lord calling them for some time, but have not been able to take the first step to begin formal discernment. All of them need our prayers and support more than ever now. Please beg the Lord to make His will clear for each of these men and continue to provide them with the grace needed to follow Him with courage and zeal.
In the coming months, the Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West will be hosting two free discernment events for Catholic single men who are discerning a call to the priesthood.
The first event is a Ministry Evening on Wednesday, January 25th. This evening is open to men aged 18-35 and begins at 4:30pm with registration, followed by Mass, dinner, and talks about discernment. If you want to discover who God wants you to be, this is a great opportunity to discern your vocation.
The second event is a Welcome Weekend on March 17th and 18th. This weekend is open to men college aged and older. This overnight experience allows you to meet the faculty, staff and seminarians, pray and attend Mass and learn more about discerning your vocation.
Both of these events provide excellent opportunities to take the next step in your discernment and truly experience the place to where God may be leading you. To register for either event, you can call Fr. Schmitmeyer at 513-421-3131 ext 2890 or use the registration forms linked above.
To see a list of all the discernment/vocation-related events happening over the next several months, please visit the Upcoming Events page.
Today, The Catholic Telegraph shares the great news that for the first time in 35 years, the Athenaeum/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West in Cincinnati is home to 75 seminarians and another 25 men who are studying for the Permanent Diaconate bringing the total number of men who are preparing for ordination at this institution to 100 men!
A seminary nearly bursting at the seams means more than just a full building. “We are looking forward to a busy year,” [the seminary rector,] Fr. O’Cinnsealaigh, said. “With so many new faces and lots of energy, the seminary is a very active and vibrant place. As well as study and prayer, seminarians are involved in apostolic works around the city such as prison ministry, hospital ministry, soup kitchens, and pregnancy centers. They help in school programs, and get involved in activities with schools. They also participate in mission trips, and in a seminary exchange program with the seminary in Honduras, and volunteer around the region and around the world during the summer.
On Friday, September 23, 2016 all are invited to an evening of Eucharistic adoration and fellowship at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West located at 6616 Beechmont Ave. in Cincinnati. The evening will be lead by Fr. Chris Geiger who was ordained this past May as a priest for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and praise and worship music will be provided by the Encounter Cincinnati band along with the seminarians of the Mount. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. The evening begins with adoration at 7:00 and will conclude with a social in the Marian courtyard beginning at 8:00.
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