| ||Patrick Lenertz|
Year in Seminary: Theology I
Home Parish: St Agatha - Coates, MN
At what point in your life did your faith come alive? How did this happen?
While I was raised Catholic my whole life, it was during my college years that I realized that I had to accept my faith for myself, rather than have someone else impose it on me. It was also then that I came to realize that while life is full of ups and downs, focusing too strongly on the downs and the worries of life doesn’t accomplish anything. It was then that I learned I needed to put my life in God’s hands and to just “let it be,” as the Beatles would say.
When did you first consider becoming a priest? What made you consider it?
During middle school, my grandmother told me one day after mass that I would make a great priest. While I wasn't fully convinced at that point, the seed had been planted that eventually led to me coming to the Seminary.
What did you do before you entered the seminary?
I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a degree in Criminology and Psychology.
Name one person who influenced your decision to go to the seminary. How did this person encourage you?
Father Mark Wehmann has shown me over the years what makes a great priest. Through him, I have seen all different aspects of a priestly life, and that has been a major influence on my decision to come to the Seminary.
What was one of the most important things that helped you take the step into seminary?
I had felt that God might have been calling me over the last few years, and rather than continuing to make excuses why I thought the Seminary wasn’t for me, I decided to come and experience it and see if this is my calling in life.
What do your friends/family think about you being in the seminary?
My friends and family have been nothing but supportive of me and my decision so far.
What do you enjoy most about the seminary?
I really enjoy the company of the other seminarians here, getting to know them and hearing their life stories. It is also wonderful to be able to go to mass every day, and to take part in the sacraments regularly.
Tell us about your hobbies and how you like to spend your free time.
Nothing brings me more joy in life (or more pure frustration) than golf. But despite my mediocre golfing ability, I enjoy playing a round of golf once in a while. I also enjoy any way I can relax, whether it be listening to music, silent prayer time, or since sleep can be hard to come by, taking a nap.
What is one thing you would like more people to know about you?
I love my family and friends very much, and I thank God for them every day, but I often forget to take the time to show them. So I would like them to know how much I really care for them.
What would be your one piece of advice for a young man discerning his vocation?
Don't just pray to God for help discerning your vocation. Make sure you take the time to listen as well, and God will let you know what your call is.
Were you an altar server?
I was an altar server at St. Augustine's parish in South St. Paul from second grade until my graduation from high school.
What saints do you have a particular devotion to? Why?
I am proud of my Irish and German heritage, so I have a particular devotion to those countries' patron saints, Saint Patrick and Saint Boniface.
What do seminarians do for fun?
It certainly differs from seminarian to seminarian, but they enjoy the same things the average person does. There are many avid readers, as well as movie buffs, outstanding athletes, and wonderful musicians. And every seminarian will make ample time for prayer each day.