Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Welcome to Our New Seminarians

The Archdiocese of Louisville is proud to announce four new seminarians:  Kirby Rust, Robert Barnell, Brandon DeToma and Daniel Ross.

My name is Kirby Rust and I am 19 years old. I was raised in the small town of Boston, Kentucky with my two parents and four siblings. There I worked in the family business during my school holiday breaks. I attended St. Catherine of Alexandria Academy in New Haven, Kentucky for all of my elementary and middle school years then attended Bethlehem High School in Bardstown, Kentucky. After high school I then attended the University of Louisville for one year, which brings me to today.

Before entering my seventh grade year at St. Catherine of Alexandria I didn't have much of a religious or spiritual life. Of course I went to Holy Mass every Sunday, but other than that my faith was nearly nonexistent. Nevertheless, that summer before my seventh grade year a new pastor arrived. Within a few months of his arrival I began seriously considering the possibility of the priesthood in my life. I began serving at Mass, going to scripture study, and practicing weekly confessions and holy hours. With this new found Faith in Jesus Christ present most intimately in the Blessed Sacrament I decided to contact the Vocation Director my senior year of high school. With a year of college under my belt I will be, God willing, attending Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in August to pursue a deeper love and understanding of God in my life and to which vocation He is calling me. I have always felt that there would be no greater reward in life than bringing a soul home to Christ.

My name is Robert Barnell. I am twenty-four years old and was born in Louisville. My parents are from Indiana but now live in Kentucky. I have an older sister and an older brother, who both live out of town. We were all raised Catholic. I went to St. Margaret Mary grade school, St. Xavier High School, and Indiana University, where I majored in Spanish and geography. I then moved to Indianapolis to work at the Catholic Charities Refugee Program. I love maps and languages. During college I spent a semester on the Mexican border, and last fall I spent two months with the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata, India.

I was interested in the priesthood since early high school, when I would feel joy during mass when I'd think about being a priest. I started attending some discernment events, but I didn't consider going to seminary right away. By late college, I still felt a desire to go to seminary but didn't feel ready to pursue the vocation, so I started a job. The next winter I went on a discernment retreat, and I felt very excited. A while later I finally decided to quit my job and move back to my home diocese, where I later started the application process. I had fears and doubts about God's will for my life, and I kept waiting for more clarity, but I eventually decided to go forward and apply, trusting that God is good and will ultimately lead me to and equip me for whatever He wants me to do. I will be attending Mount Saint Mary's of the West.

My name is Brandon DeToma and I will be entering St. Meinrad School of Theology this August in the Philosophy program.

A lifelong resident of Louisville, I attended Ascension for grade school, Trinity for high school and Transylvania University for college where I majored in History and minored in Religion.

Following college I entered the United States Army in the Intelligence Corps where I was stationed in Fort Lewis, WA. I traveled to many parts of the world including Guam, Korea, and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 with 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). Most recently I was employed by the Kentucky Court of Justice working at the downtown Louisville Metro courthouse.

The attraction of the priesthood was there in my child and high school years. At the time I did think about the priesthood but I would always bury that attraction with everyday life and chose not to act or explore it further. It was during my time in the Army that I began to actively ponder and explore the possible call to the priesthood and God’s Church with guidance by the Society of Jesus and Catholic Chaplains. When I moved back to Louisville, I contacted the Vocation Office and have been on a discernment journey ever since.

My name is Daniel Ross and I will be attending Bishop Simon Brute this fall. The first thing you should know about me is that I come from a big family; I am the second oldest of seven children. I was homeschooled all my life. I was born in Washington D.C. and lived near there in Maryland and then in Northern Virginia until I was eight years old. In August of 2002 my family and I moved to Kentucky, which was a big change for us not just geographically, but culturally as well.

We bought a farm in Kentucky and wanted to farm for a living. Although farming didn’t work out for us as we thought it would, I learned a lot about animals, the land, and how to grow food. I have developed an enjoyment of being outdoors partly due to farming, though I do not hunt or fish, I like to walk in the woods or fields and see the beauty of God’s good earth. We also met many good friends and neighbors through farming. I have been to several different states in this country and I always find that the people in Kentucky are among the warmest, kindest, and most charitable people I know.

I was thirteen when I first seriously felt God calling me to a vocation to the priesthood. I became an altar server in Lent of 2007, and I loved serving at Mass. I truly felt a sense of belonging while being at church and participating in activities at our parish. During the past five years the idea of being a priest has never left me. As I have gotten older my understanding of who a priest is and what a priest does has grown, and this is a process that I expect will continue as I go through formation in seminary. I ask for your prayers for me as I continue on this journey of discernment; please know that you will be in mine.

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