Name: Jeff Stegbauer
Home Parish: St. Susanna, Mason, Ohio
When did you enter the seminary? 2010
What is your expected ordination year? 2019
Where are you currently studying? Bishop Simon Brute Seminary at Marian University, Indianapolis, IN
What are your favorite things to do? I love to read, play sports (Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, football, etc) with the seminarians, and just spend time talking with my friends!
Do you struggle in your prayer life? If so, how do you respond to that struggle? I am always struggling in some way or another in my prayer life, which is great because it helps me to not settle for mediocrity in my prayer life. One of my biggest struggles has been silent mental prayer, in other words, just simply kneeling or sitting before the Lord and resting with Him. It goes wherever God leads you! When it is difficult, I just persevere (remembering the first few verses of James 1), pray to St. Joseph and the saints for their intercession. I make a commitment to myself and hold myself to it. I will also ask advice from my spiritual director and brother seminarians to help make the prayer as fruitful as possible. I try to remember that everyone struggles, even the Saints at one point!
Why did you enter seminary? After the witnessing many holy priests in my life, I felt an urging to discern the priesthood. I had a great uncle who was an extremely generous Jesuit priest. I also had a pastor who was diagnosed with ALS and joyfully suffered for the sake of the Kingdom until his death. Both of these models of priesthood left me longing for something more. I had a desire to love as they loved and offer my life up to God. I was only in high school, so I was not sure where I would end up, but I knew I had to enter college seminary to get rid of any doubt. No matter what I discerned, I wanted to be 100% committed to it, whether that was a wife and children or a parish. On the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle A), during my junior year of high school, the readings were incredibly vocation focused and I just knew in that moment that God wanted me to discern the priesthood at a seminary. Since I entered college seminary in the Fall of 2010 and now at Mt. St. Mary’s of the West Major Seminary, God has only continued to guide me towards the priesthood and the doubts have withered away! I thank God for my vocation every day! Please know of my prayers!