UP Catholic 01 20 2017 E Edition Page 13

www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC VOCATIONS January 20, 2017 13 BRANDON YANNI From Father Sebastian and the parishioners of Holy Name of Mary, Sault Ste. Marie Sacred Heart Mission - Sugar Island Brandon, We support you with prayer as you continue to discern your vocation. May God continue to guide you! DIOCESE OF MARQUETTE VOCATIONS Call me. Fr. Ben Hasse, Director of Vocations 906-290-2434 LETS DISCERN! bhasse@dioceseofmarquette.org ARE YOU STARTING TO FEEL LIKE YOU WERE CREATED FOR SO MUCH MORE THAN CELLPHONES AND GAME SYSTEMS... Two men join diocese as seminarians BY JAMIE GUALDONI THE U.P. CATHOLIC Each mans journey to the priesthood takes a different path. For two of the newest sem- inarians studying for the Diocese of Mar- quette, it has been a journey several years in the making. Matthew Hill, 52, first entered the semi- nary 25 years ago, but aware that I had a lot of growing up to do, left formal formation, though hoping he would return some day. That hope became reality four years ago when he again felt the call to priesthood. When I again felt the call, I began to pray about where God was calling me to serve. I had some hesitancy in moving forward and prayed that God would open the doors He wanted me to step through. Those doors began to open for Hill with the Diocese of Marquette after a good friend of his, now Father Timothy Ferguson, had recently been ordained for the diocese. As I began to speak with Father Ben (Hasse) and Bishop John (Doerfler), it was here that doors began to open up for me. I saw this as a sign that this is where God was calling me to serve His People, explained Hill. With the support of a prayer group he was involved with, and the support of a spiritu- al director, the Detroit native again looked toward ordained service. His journey has now led him to studies at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis. It has taken time for this grace to bear fruit, but I sincerely believe that this grace was given as a part of the grace of confirmation which I received in eighth grade, Hill said. Michael Kowalewski, 41, grew up in Rhode Island, and was a teenager when he first heard Gods calling to the priesthood, it was follow- ing his completion of graduate school that he entered into a deeper discernment. Upon completing my studies, I began vis- iting monasteries and other places of prayer. This is what led me to discern the priesthood, explained Kowalewski. I would be honored to serve our Lord and God Jesus Christ as a di- ocesan priest, living a simple life of voluntary poverty, chastity and obedience to my bishop. Kowalewskis seminary journey originally be- gan with studying for the Archdiocese of Den- ver. However, after completing a spirituality year and two years of philosophy at the semi- nary, he began to discern religious life, which then brought him to the Upper Peninsula. Kowalewski spent four years living with the Companions of Christ the Lamb in Paradise, where he served as a brother while continuing his studies for the priesthood. But, once again, God brought Kowalewski down another path on his journey. This time, He was calling him back to the seminary as a parish priest. I entered a pastoral year assisting at Sacred Heart Parish in LAnse. I enjoyed serving in a parish community, and learned it was a better fit. Kowalewski was then accepted as a sem- inarian of the Diocese of Marquette. He continues his pastoral year at Sacred Heart Parish in LAnse. Kowalewski recognizes that among his largest influences have been his parents' example. The greatest gift they gave to me, outside of raising me Catholic, is their unconditional love for each other. Their commitment to Jesus Christs teaching on the absolute indissolubility of marriage has been a great inspiration for me in my own calling. For photos and complete list of the semi- narians currently studying for the Diocese of Marquette, see pages 14-15. JOHN FEE THE U.P. CATHOLIC Matthew Hill (right) receives a blessing from the newly ordained Father Aaron Nowicki during the ordination to the priesthood Mass in June of 2016. JAMIE GUALDONI THE U.P. CATHOLIC Michael Kowalewski (right) joins in singing the opening hymn for Mass during the diocesan seminarian retreat at Marygrove Retreat Center. He stands next to fellow semi- narian Benjamin Rivard.

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