Aaron Scheidel, Third College, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia

Describe why you entered into discernment for the priesthood or when you heard the call from God.

I can’t really pin down when I first thought that God might be calling me to the priesthood, but I began to think about it more seriously in high school. When I was in my junior year I began to look into colleges and think about what I would do after high school. During this time I thought more and more about the priesthood.

I decided to talk to priests and learn what I could about the priesthood.  I discovered a lot throughout junior and senior year but was hesitant to make the big step and apply to the seminary. It was not until after Christmas during my senior year that I decided that I definitely wanted to enter the seminary.

What really helped me was a conversation I had with a friend who had already decided to enter the seminary. My friend said that the seminary is the best place to discern a call to the priesthood.

This really struck me because I wanted to do God’s will and was already accepted to several colleges that would assist me in growing in my faith and helping me to discern God’s will; however, this conversation helped me to realize that no place will help you discern a call to the priesthood like the seminary.

It was not long after that conversation that I decided to enter the seminary and began the application process.
When people ask you why you want to be a priest, some guys have a direct answer, but for me it’s hard to describe. I want to do God’s will more than anything else because I know that it is in following his plan for me that I will find peace and happiness.

If I am called to be a priest, my life will be devoted to teaching, healing and helping the people of God. These people can be strangers, but they can also be our friends and family.

Describe your parents, family and friends that have been important to your life.

My home parish is St. Benedict in Mohnton.  My family has belonged to St. Benedict for as long as I can remember. My pastor, Father Phil Rodgers, and the whole parish family have been so supportive, encouraging and helpful during my discernment, and I am very grateful to them all for that.

I am the second of five children, with one older sister and three younger brothers. I am 20 years old now; I entered when I was 18. I am two years younger than my older sister, so we developed a very close relationship growing up that still continues to this day.

She provided me with the support and advice and love only an older sister can give. She has been an invaluable help to me as I have grown up, and she will always be my best friend.

My younger brothers are great. They are always ready to play or tell you about whatever they have been doing. They really inspire me to be the best brother possible because it’s what they deserve and I don’t want to let them down.

My mom and dad, Adam and Rebecca Scheidel, have homeschooled all of us and have given us a Catholic education throughout our lives. What mom and dad didn’t teach by their words they taught by their example.

I have learned so much from my parents about the faith, love and just practical life tips. They have always been there to guide me, correct me when I make a mistake and challenge me to grow. I love my family.

It would be impossible to name all the other people who have played an important role in my life. Friends, coaches and relatives have all helped me so much throughout my life.

My grandmother and my godfather, Uncle Mike, were very influential in assisting my parents in raising me in my Catholic faith. And finally, my four cousins Brandon, Zach, Joe, and Mike were my best friends growing up, and they continue to be great friends and are very supportive of my decision to discern the priesthood.

What are some of your interests or hobbies?

My hobbies and interests include some miniature modeling and painting, a little carpentry which I picked up at work, sketching, reading, and playing sports. I grew up enjoying sports of the organized and “backyard” variety.

I played soccer for the local leagues since I was 6 years old, but I also really enjoy playing pickup football, volleyball and hockey. I like the outdoors and enjoy going on hikes and working outside.

Most of all though, I like just hanging out with friends, whether it is going to see a movie, playing sports, getting a bite to eat, or just having a good conversation. These are the times that I typically enjoy most.

What is life like as a seminarian?

Life as a seminarian is very unique. You have Mass every morning and community prayer twice a day. It is very busy and there is always something you can be doing, but there is also time for you to relax and hang out with friends.

The other seminarians are great guys, and an incredible fraternity and brotherhood develops where you all help and support one another. Seminarians are normal guys. There are guys that like sports, movies, art, music, board games, video games and really anything else.

During the week you have classes like other colleges, but on Thursdays seminarians do service work called Apostolates. Last year my Apostolate was at Holy Family Manor nursing home in Bethlehem, and this past year I was at Mercy School for Special Learning in Allentown.

These Apostolates have been and are incredible experiences, and are very helpful for seminarians during their discernment because they teach us how to serve God’s people. Overall, life as a seminarian is really helping me to grow in relationship with God and others, while also forming me into the best man I can be.