Deacon Stephen Buting
Parish: St. Dominic, Brookfield
Seminary: Pontifical North American College, Rome, Italy
Birthday: May 22
Intercessor: St. Thérèse of Lisieux
I'm a young, adult, Catholic trying to follow Jesus with all my life and bring other people to know Him more deeply.
Tell us your vocation story:
I came to know God more deeply in college at UW-Madison through the St. Paul's University Catholic Center on campus. After a beautiful experience during adoration my freshman year in 2010, our Lord helped me build the foundations of my faith through the community's daily prayer, opportunities for discipleship and service, and an openness to my vocation. During my junior year, Fr. Luke Strand visited me in Madison on a trip to see fellow seminarian Nick Baumgardner. Fr. Luke invited me on the Duc in Altum Discernment Retreat around Christmas of 2012. I got to know other men who were discerning their call and I decided I wanted to be a part of the Mission Milwaukee project happening that following summer. It was in the JPII House of Discernment that my discernment took a big leap forward. I intentionally discerned during my prayer every day in front of the Eucharist and I experienced the Church as a beautiful group of people whom I could realistically see serving one day. I decided in August of 2013 to apply to the seminary and over 4 years later I still feel God calling me on the path toward being His priest.
What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?
A heart devoted primarily to God. Our hearts are constantly divided among different things and so we are not like the pure of heart who can see God. Whether it's a special girl in his life, or friends who disagree with his choice or the temptation to mediocrity, a young man can easily not give his whole heart to God and can fall back into pilot mode instead of actively discerning the priesthood.
What is your favorite psalm verse and why?
Recently while praying the Liturgy of the Hours, Ps. 84:7, "They walk with ever growing strength. They will see the God of gods in Zion" has struck me. It speaks of hope for the follower of God that tomorrow they will be closer to God than yesterday. Slow and steady progress, "faithfulness" as St. Teresa of Calcutta would say, is what God desires from us every day.
What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?
I love reading, going camping and watching British Netflix shows.
Where do you like to go to pray?
I like praying my rosary while walking through the woods or in a prayer garden. I also like setting up a small shrine in my room to pray.
Where do you do your best studying?
I like to study in the library downstairs or in a nearby park if it's nice out.
Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
Please pray to St.Thérèse of Lisieux for me. She has a particular love for priests and has been a source of great encouragement for me over the years.