David SweeneyDcn. Joseph Heit

Fourth Theology

Parish: St. Jerome Oconomowoc

Seminary:  Saint Francis de Sales

Birthday:  August 10

Intercessor:  St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, St. Patrick, and St. Pius X

Describe yourself:

I am a hardworking, fun-loving guy who loves Jesus and the Church

Tell us your vocation story:

My first indication that I might be called to be a priest was in elementary school while serving Mass which continued into high school.  As I started college, I pushed the idea of being a priest out of my mind.  I thought that I wanted to be a math teacher.  After one semester of math and education courses, it was clear that I was not a called to be a math teacher.  At the same time, I enjoyed my scripture class, so I switched my major to religious studies.  It is through my studies that I continued to discern the priesthood. 

After college, I thought I might still be called to be a priest, but I needed to leave academics.  I decided to get a job working in the church.  I figured that after a year, I would reconsider entering the seminary.  The Lord called me to parish ministry for 13 years serving in a verity of roles in the formation, pastoral, and administration.  In parish life, I felt that the Lord had indeed called me to each position and guided me to grow closer to God through my ministry.  After 13 years, I was starting to wonder what was next for me.  It was during Fr. Jordan Berghouse’s Mass of thanksgiving that I heard a clear message from the Lord.  The Lord told me I was done in parish ministry, and I needed to enter the seminary.  After the initial questioning/doubt, I contacted the vocations office, and now I am a seminarian.


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

The world is full of noise and items that tug the heart away from the Lord.  A man needs to ignore the noise and find the Lord's voice in the world.  It is only through being completely in love with God that one could be entirely free for pressure priesthood through the seminary.

What is your favorite psalm verse and why?

“Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. Better the threshold of the house of my God than a home in the tents of the wicked.” Psalm 84:11. Psalm 84 is expressing the Israelites desire to be with the Lord during pilgrimages to Jerusalem.  I strive to have this same desire to be with the Lord and to avoid things that draw us away from the Lord. 

What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?

Games, games and more games! I love playing board games, doing escape rooms, and creating escape rooms.

Where do you like to go to pray?

Right now, I am drawn to the Christ the King Chapel at St. Francis de Sales, on the left side in the first full pew.  It is easy to distract me, so I like to sit in the front row to try to remove distractions from my eyesight.

Where do you do your best studying?

On a couch in my room.  I like to be comfortable and have room to spread all the notes.

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?

St. Pius X

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