Dcn. Kevin Tanel
Parish: St. Theresa of Avila, Eagle
Seminary: Saint Francis de Sales Seminary
Birthday: November 20
Intercessor: St. Maximilian Kolbe and the Blessed Virgin Mary
I am a senior in the college program this year and I am trying to discern the vocation I am called to.
Tell us your vocation story:
For as long as I can remember, I have felt that God has been calling me to the priesthood. Growing up, I remember 'playing Mass' with my brother playing the keyboard and my grandma there as well. As I grew older, this feeling that God is calling me to serve Him as a priest became very real. Although there were times where I did not feel it as strongly, it was always still there. As I learned more about my faith, and spent more time in prayer, I felt and still feel excited about the possibility of being a priest some day. Attending adoration more frequently has helped me to grow closer to God and to discern my vocation more effectively as well. In addition, the constant support of my family and friends has allowed me to be open to whatever it is that God is calling me to. I desire to serve the Lord in whatever way He calls me, and at this moment, I feel God has called me to the priesthood.
What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?
I think the greatest challenge to someone entering seminary is being able to persevere and remain patient. This is especially important seeing that there are many years of seminary formation. Some of the greatest saints like St. Therese of Lisieux and Blessed Mother Teresa experienced phases of extreme spiritual darkness, but being able to push through those moments with consistent prayer ultimately drew them closer to the Lord.
What is your favorite psalm verse and why?
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:11) This verse reminds me of how great God is and therefore to trust Him with everything. It is easy for me to get too worked up about all sorts of things going on in my life, but when I read and remember this verse, I am reminded to take a step back and be in the presence of God. I love saying this verse over and over again when I am in adoration.
What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?
For my whole life, I have loved sports. I am one of the biggest Packer and Brewer fans you will ever meet and I love playing many different sports as well. I also play the violin, which has been an enormous part of my life. It is a great way to deal with stress as well as I find enjoyment playing it.
Where do you like to go pray?
I love praying in the chapel here at St. Joseph College Seminary. If I am feeling a little overwhelmed, sitting in front of the tabernacle at night often brings me peace.
Where do you do your best studying?
It is generally pretty quiet in my room, so that is a good place for me to do my homework.
Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
St. Maximilian Kolbe and the Blessed Virgin Mary