Dominic Van HeckeDominic Van Hecke

College Program - Freshman

Parish: St. Charles, Hartland

Seminary: Immaculate Heart of Mary College Seminary

Birthday: January 10

Intercessor:  St. Michael the Archangel, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Bl. Carlo Acutis, St. Joseph

Describe yourself.

I am a servant of God trying to follow wherever He calls me. I am very extroverted and love playing games with other people, particularly sports and very long complicated board games, but almost any game will bring out my competitive side.

Tell us your vocation story.

I grew up in a very Catholic family, and went to Mass every Sunday and even daily Mass sometimes. I started both altar serving and lectoring from a young age, around 10 years old. Our parish (St. Charles Borremeo in Hartland) was a teaching parish, so I, as an altar server, had a lot of interaction with Priests and Seminarians and learned pretty quick that they are also people just like me.
Being raised in this way, the question of the priesthood obviously came up once or twice, but every time it did I simply declined and said that's not for me. Then my faith life started to weaken, even though I still went to all the Church events, I started to interiorly turn away from God, and take control of my life, and sin. But then He came into my darkest times and woke me up and set me on a path towards healing, and then a year along that path He gave me a moment where He showed His glory, His power, and His love which lit my heart aflame, so finally I opened my heart to the idea of this Vocation. I went to a dinner at our Parish rectory in my freshman year of highschool and honestly I enjoyed it, and although I had no idea if I was being called to be a priest it felt good to be open to it. So I kept on going to Vocations events as they were always a lot of fun, and left me feeling satisfied, although for years still never hearing any call more than just "be open to it," but then my summer before Junior year of highschool I went to a 4-day Vocations camp at St. Francis de Sales Seminary, and just had an amazing time, and really started to picture myself as a Seminarian, and then that fall I visited IHM Seminary and had a very similar experience, and really felt finally the call to be follow Him to the Seminary, so I filled out my application that winter, and was accepted by February. Now I am just focused on growing closer to the Lord, and always trying to follow him where He leads me.

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

A lack of trust, a withholding of oneself from complete abandonment to the will of God, and trying to take control of his own life, trying and failing to live his best life.

What is your favorite psalm verse and why?

Psalm 51:17 - The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God thou wilt not despise.
All God asks of us is ourselves, not some perfect version but who we are in our brokeness, and that is who he calls to be His own. We have no excuse as to why we shouldn't offer everything that we have and are to Him, He will accept and love it no matter how broken.

What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?

I am a huge game person, playing Sports or Board games are always a go to activity for me.

Where do you like to go pray?

I love praying in any church or chapel at night when no one else is around, and the church/chapel is dark.

Where do you do your best studying?

In my room at the Seminary.

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, St. Joseph, Blessed Carlo Acutis, and Mary our loving Mother.

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