Name: Aaron Hess
Home Parish: St. Mary, Philothea, OH
When did you enter Seminary? Fall 2012
What is your expected ordination year? 2021
Where are you currently studying? This year I am serving as an intern at All Saints in Montgomery, OH.
What are some of your favorite things to do? I have always loved to do anything and everything with music, having taken years of piano, voice, and organ lessons as well as being part of band, choirs, musicals, and now the seminary Schola Cantorum. I play music, but I also dabble in writing my own music and love to listen to a wide variety of music. I also am an alumni of my high school’s bowling program and love to hit the lanes whenever I have the opportunity to do so. I also enjoy watching and playing other sports here at the seminary, particularly football, softball, and Ultimate Frisbee. Finally, many evenings I will work on cross-stitching or reading a good book—particularly classic novels.
Do you struggle in your prayer life? If so, how do you respond to that struggle? Everyone struggles in prayer at some point in their lives. What I have found to be beneficial in helping with this is first to set up a schedule during the day. When you have a set time of day for prayer, you naturally focus your mind and heart better during that time than other times of the day. Second, perseverance is key. It is the most difficult thing in the world to sit down to pray, knowing that it will be a burden and a struggle. However, it will never grow better if you do not put any effort into it. Finally, remember that when you enter into prayer, you are entering into a battle, a supernatural battle that is waging around us continuously. When we engage in prayer, particularly when it is difficult and dry, we are taking up our weapons against the powers of darkness and deceit in the world today. Battles are never won easily; it takes patience, a plan, and perseverance to prevail.
Why did you enter seminary? In high school, I had no intention of entering seminary; I had a girlfriend, plans to go to a prestigious school for physics, and eventually have a large family. My high school’s youth group planned a trip the end of my junior year of high school to go to the ordination of another Hess (very distantly related) who was also from my hometown, and I decided to go because it was an opportunity not often given to those of us who are from the northern part of the Archdiocese. While there, I was overcome with an intense desire to be standing where those men were standing, as priests for the Body of Christ. After a few weeks of inner struggle with this idea of abandoning all of my plans, I went up to the church in my hometown to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and while there, I received confirmation that I was to pursue seminary studies. From there, I broke up with my girlfriend, told my family and friends, and contacted the vocation director for the Archdiocese to begin the process of applying for seminary.