Name: Andrew Hess
Home Parish: Sacred Heart, St. Paris
When did you enter Seminary? Fall 2012
What is your expected ordination year? 2019
Where are you currently studying? Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West, Cincinnati, OH
What are some of your favorite things to do? I have a large family – four brothers and five sisters – and I have many nieces and nephews, so the opportunities I have to visit home and reconnect are always enjoyable. I also greatly enjoy spending time with friends, whether that is going out for a bite to eat or simply hanging out and enjoying each other’s company. For recreation I am very fond of playing sports, soccer being primary among them. I enjoy reading, listening to music, cooking, singing, and, of course, developing my relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church. All of these things keep me grounded and remind me of how blessed I am.
Do you struggle in your prayer life? If so, how do you respond to that struggle? Prayer is a funny thing. We think of it as a conversation with God, which is accurate, but at the same time it is not like other conversations we have with our friends and family. In fact, it is more than those because in prayer Jesus Christ reveals to us the Father’s plan for our lives and takes into account our whole being. He is unabashedly interested in every detail of our lives and desires greatly to heal, strengthen, and perfect everything we bring to Him. Yet we sometimes struggle to connect with him on a meaningful level. When this happens in my life I am mindful in that moment of the great necessity to persevere, because those are the opportunities the devil is seeking, who prowls about looking for someone to devour. I am always mindful of the Lord’s unchanging yet ever-new love for me, even when I struggle to enter into conversation with Him.
Why did you enter seminary? In my discernment prior to seminary, I was always concerned with success, happiness, and comfort. Ultimately, the Lord is going to provide us these things in His great goodness, but we have to surrender ourselves to his plan for how they will come about – in the way he wants to provide them. I always felt called to priesthood, but was not confident that I could commit myself to the life of a priest, nor that it would make me happy. Throughout high school I mulled over the many professional possibilities for my future, but each one seemed like a dead-end; they could provide success, they could provide comfort, but I knew they would not make me happy. So in college I was faced with a choice: happiness, or comfort and success. I knew I couldn’t resist answering anymore. I knew that the one constant thing in my life had been the Lord’s calling to the priesthood, whether it was subtle or obvious, and that if I reached out and gave Him my hand He would undoubtedly lead me to true happiness, real success, and lasting comfort. I entered seminary to find the Lord and to find joy. It’s a constant discovery, but I believe I have found him here and will continue to find Him in this life to which I am confident He has called me.