MOSAIC Spring 2014 - Page 20

Meet Your Seminarians In All His Disguises I Mark Livingston, 37 Archdiocese of Detroit First-year Theology first felt a call to priesthood when I was an altar boy, at thirteen, and then, more strongly, when I was seventeen. I was dating a great young woman at that time, so I passed the call off as “imagination” and kept dating. I disregarded my call—and my faith— throughout my twenties until, after “going it alone” without God for too long, I became too weary to continue without him. Around that time, I decided to start praying again (a grace!). So, hanging an old, beat-up crucifix in my room, buying a cheap glow-inthe-dark rosary and rediscovering how to pray it, I promised Our Lady that I would pray it nightly for thirty days . . . and I did (a daily ritual that has not stopped since, including using the glowing plastic rosary). Through a series of “coincidences,” I joined a young adult group, gradually started going to daily Mass, went on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, was introduced to Franciscan University, and joined the secular Carmelites. “I was lost, and was found.” It was clear that Jesus was calling, not again, but still! The thought arose, “I’m in my early thirties. Am I too old?” No way, baby! After a few more years of prayer and discernment with my pastor, Fr. Bob McCabe, at St. Pius X in Southgate, and Fr. Brendan Walsh, a Pallottine priest at the Gabriel Richard Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, I called Fr. Tim Birney at the AOD vocations office and applied to enter Sacred Heart. Each of my three years here has been a blessing. I want to be a priest because Jesus has loved me back to his Heart, has loved me through the doors of the seminary, and has loved the desire for the priesthood into my heart. The Lord is giving me a missionary heart full of love. I want to be his priest and serve him at his altar and, as the expression goes, in all his disguises. Medical What? W Stephen Brunner, 28 Diocese of Madison First-year Pre-Theology 18 MOSAIC MOSAIC 18 hen you go to the seminary, a lot of people naturally are inclined to ask, “So, what did you do before going to the seminary?” I usually respond, “Medical physics,” to which they usually respond, “Medical what?” Medical physics is the study of how physics can be applied to medicine. The jurisdiction of medical physics can be quite broad, but classic examples of medical physics include medical imaging (for example, MRI, CAT scan, and ultrasound), as well as radiation therapy (for example, external beam radiation therapy). Over the past five years, I have been immersed in research as a member of the PhD in Medical Physics program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As of September 2013, I was able to complete my degree officially by defending my dissertation dealing with dose reduction in computed tomography (commonly known as CAT scan). It may be surprising to know that I first felt the call to the priesthood during my third year in graduate school. As I started that year in September 2010, I was not a practicing Catholic. However, as the year went on, I began to become aware of a strong desire to know and to reflect upon the faith that I had been given as a child. Who is Jesus Christ? Who do people say he is? More importantly, who do I say he is? As I began to sift through these questions, I began to become aware that the Lord was drawing me closer to his Most Sacred Heart. I have no doubt that Divine Providence has brought me to Sacred Heart Major Seminary to discern a call to the priesthood. As I reflect on my first year, I am most surprised by the intellectual formation I receive here. Pope Paul VI once said, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” The beauty of Sacred Heart is that our instructors are both teachers and witnesses. This combination truly gives intellectual formation wings.