Craig RichterDcn. Craig Richter

Configuration IV

Parish: St. John Neumann Parish, Waukesha

Seminary:  Saint Francis de Sales

Birthday:  August 22

Intercessor:  Blessed Stanley Rother

Tell us your vocation story:

In short, it took me twenty-seven years to realize the most joyful path I could envision for my life was being a Catholic priest. I first heard the call to the priesthood in high school, through my Confirmation retreat, Eucharistic Adoration at a youth conference, and the witness of a family friend being ordained to the permanent diaconate. In college, I pushed this call to the back of my mind while pursuing a career in business. Upon graduating, I started what I thought was a dream job in management consulting, only to find out a year later that I was deeply unhappy. I left that job, and during my job search, I again heard the call to the priesthood. I discerned, however, that God was calling me at that time to accept a job in Kansas City, MO, and more fully live out my faith. 

There, after three and a half years of being involved in a vibrant young adult community, my parish, and speaking with people about faith at my workplace, I began to ask God in prayer if He was calling me to the priesthood. Shortly thereafter, it became clear that the diocesan priesthood was the happiest path I, and God, could envision for my life. In 2018, I entered seminary for the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph, MO, and completed my first year of seminary in St. Louis, MO. During the year, I discerned, with great joy and peace, God was calling me back home to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Thus, after ten years away for school and work, I moved back home to the Archdiocese in 2019.  

What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?

Lack of a community of Catholic men who will encourage them to discern their vocation. Men need to be surrounded by other good men with whom they can share their vocational discernment and who are discerning their own vocation. Seeing my male friends in Kansas City discerning and living out their vocations gave me courage I did not previously have to answer the call to the priesthood. 

What is your favorite Psalm verse and why?

“Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.” (Ps 51: 3). I, and the rest of the Church, pray this Psalm every Friday morning in Morning Prayer. Every week, this verse is a humbling and hopeful reminder of God’s strength and mercy, both of which I need to be the man He desires me to be.

What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?

Spending time with my family, cooking, exercising, playing sports (football, basketball, golf, downhill skiing, water skiing), watching sports, hunting and fishing, and spending time outdoors. 

Where do you like to go to pray?

In the Christ the King chapel, our main chapel, early in the morning when no one else is there. In that moment, being alone with Jesus in the Eucharist, I am often overcome with a deep sense of peace, joy, and gratitude, realizing that I am spending time with the God of the universe. 

Where do you do your best studying?

In my seminary room sitting at my desk with my door open. 

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?

St. John Paul the Great (II). Since a young age, he has guided me to a deeper love of God, Mary, living fully for Christ, and answering the call to the diocesan priesthood. He bore immense suffering and challenges with great a peace, joy, and strength that will echo throughout history for the rest of time. I highly recommend "Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves" by Jason Evert to learn more about his life. 

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