Thomas Stanczak

Propaedeutic Stage

Parish: St. Therese of Lisieux, Kenosha

Seminary: Saint Francis de Sales

Birthday: April 22

Intercessor:  St. Therese of Lisieux

Tell us your vocation story.

I began to contemplate the priesthood soon after I converted to Catholicism from Protestantism. It had always been a passing thought, but the more I would dwell on it the more I felt God was calling me. I eventually would hear a clear call from God during Mass to pursue the priesthood. I was initially resistant to the call of the Holy Spirit, but God continued to work on my heart through the intercession of my family, friends, St. Therese, and the Blessed Mother. I accepted His call to continue discernment through seminary formation, and I look forward to seeing what His plan is for me and my brothers at Saint Francis de Sales!

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

Often it is hard to give up the good gifts that God has given us, but the gifts God gives are good because they come from God. Without Him they lose the peace that only Christ can give, whether that is a good career, community, or the prospect of marriage. Discernment, just like the Catholic faith, is a constant struggle to focus on Christ and not the waves of the storm around us. I know I have often heard Christ’s words “O ye of little faith.”

What is your favorite Psalm verse and why?

Psalm 21:25: Let all the seed of Israel fear him: because he hath not slighted nor despised the supplication of the poor man. Neither hath he turned away his face from me: and when I cried to him he heard me.” The 21st (or 22nd depending on what Bible translation) Psalm is a great reminder to remember that God’s victory always arrives when the moment seems the bleakest. It is a great reminder to always have hope.

What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?

I enjoy fishing, hiking, going on road trips, and enjoying a good meal with friends.

Where do you like to go pray?

I enjoy praying in churches or out in nature.

Where do you do your best studying?

In my room or a quiet library.

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?

The Madonna of Czestochowa, St Therese of Lisieux.

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