Patrick Waddell

College Program - Sophomore

Parish: St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee

Seminary: Immaculate Heart of Mary College Seminary

Birthday: June 13

Intercessor:  St. John Bosco

Tell us your vocation story:

I grew up in a Catholic family that took the faith seriously. We always went to Sunday mass and prayed the rosary as a family each day. My Freshman and Sophomore years of high school I spent at Brookfield Academy where the majority of students were immersed in the culture, so I spent more time with my friends from when I was homeschooled before. During these two years my mother, sister, and I always went to daily mass right before school. I didn’t necessarily enjoy it but I sort of knew I should be going. During the second semester of my sophomore year of high school all of a sudden, my family found out that my older brother Nicholas was planning on entering the seminary. I had never really spent much time with seminarians before, but I was able to get to know all of the guys in Nicholas’ class and other really great seminarians. I discovered that I had had a misconceived notion of what it meant to be a priest. Less than a year after my brother entered seminary, I visited Immaculate Heart of Mary college seminary (IHM) and just loved it. At this point I was a junior in high school and had transferred to Chesterton Academy of Milwaukee where daily mass was required, which I realize now was immensely important in my formation. By the beginning of my senior year of high school I had decided I wouldn’t even apply to other colleges because I was going to enter seminary, but then in late October I all of a sudden changed my mind. I ended up applying and going to Franciscan University of Steubenville for my Freshman year of college. They had a perpetual adoration chapel and that was crucial for me to have silence every day in a world which loves to drown out everything by constant noise. In late November of my first year at Franciscan the idea of the priesthood came up again. Eventually, the idea was coming up every day. Then I saw the book The Priest Is Not His Own by Fulton Sheen. That phrase stuck with me and two weeks later I met with Fr. LoCoco and told him that this phrase just stuck with me. He got up, went to the bookshelf, grabbed that book and gave it to me. By the time I had finished two chapters from the book I realized I needed to enter. And by April 2023 I was accepted.

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

One of the greatest challenges to entering seminary is being able to hear and discern the will of God. The world tells us that only productivity matters. However, we must learn to “waste” time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, as this allows one to hear and discern the will of God more intentionally.

What is your favorite Psalm verse and why?

Psalm 130: 3-4: “If thou, O Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” These verses remind me that there is always forgiveness with the Lord, and so if I can be forgiven by Him, so also can I forgive myself.

What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?

 I love Disc Golfing, piano, reading, hanging out with friends, and most other sports.

Where do you like to go pray?

I like praying either in any smaller church or chapel with the blessed sacrament or my room.

Where do you do your best studying?

Definitely in my room, but if I start getting too distracted the library is the other place I go.

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?

St. John Bosco, St. Therese of Lisieux, the Poor Souls in Purgatory.



© Archdiocese of Milwaukee Vocation Office | St. Francis de Sales Seminary | 3257 S. Lake Drive, St. Francis, WI 53235 | 414.747.6437