The Tolton Teaching Parish Program is at the heart of seminarian formation at Mundelein. This innovative program immerses our seminarians in parish life throughout their time in seminary. Every seminarian (and second-year Pre-Theology students) are assigned to one of more than 80 teaching parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago and nearby dioceses. Spending their entire seminary tenure at the same parish, they are able to form true bonds with parishioners and fully invest themselves in the life of the parish. Our seminarians spend time each week at their teaching parishes—learning practical and pastoral skills from experienced mentor pastors, participating in Masses and parish events, getting to know parishioners personally, and gaining a better understanding of what it takes to shepherd a community of faith.

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Here at St. Peter Damian, we are very blessed to have Seminarian Gregory Clever, Seminarian Jacob Hartman, and Seminarian Jacob Hugo for the 2022 - 2023 year.

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Seminarian Gregory Clever

Third Year Theology
(Studying at Mundelein Seminary)

I felt the call to be a priest as a young child. Thanks to the excellent religious upbringing my family gave me, I entered seminary out of high school and spent seven years in formation. At the end of that time, I felt God might be calling me to do something else, so I took two years off to be a teacher which was a great experience. I felt the call to the priesthood again though, and thus this Spring I applied to join the Diocese of Jefferson City, which has brought me here to Mundelein. I am one of nine children who enjoys sports, reading, the outdoors, and hanging out. My favorite saint is St. Gregory the Great, and I have a strong devotion to Our Lady of the Sorrows. My priest aspiration is to be with the people of God. Please pray that I am to the Holy Spirit in this time and that I grow in holiness. I would also appreciate it if you would pray for my Bishop, Sean McKnight, my diocese, my family, and my students.

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Seminarian Jacob Hugo

Third Year Theology
(Studying at Mundelein Seminary)

The first sparks of my vocation story were enkindled after receiving first Holy Communion and I was allowed to begin serving the Mass. As I grew up doing this, I encountered wonderful priests and beautiful liturgies that furthered my desire to be a priest. I played Mass as a young kid, often roping in somewhat disinterested siblings and cousins to be altar servers and deacons. (God bless them for their patience). As I grew up, the desire for priesthood became less of a game and more of a serious life decision; a decision I would weigh carefully as high school drew to a close. Still feeling the urge to pursue the peach and joy I'd felt at the call to priesthood, I made the plunge to enter college seminary. I spent four years at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, MN. There I encountered the Lord in brand new ways. I came face - to - face with my weaknesses and faults and found a loving Father who has never stopped loving me. I think that when we encounter love we want to return it in a similar way. I found the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that burn for the Father and for all His children. As I continue on, I hope and pray that I may be more closely united to that Sacred Heart and lead people to God, and God to people. My priest aspiration is getting know and walk with the people of God, to turn souls to God in Reconciliation and Spiritual Direction. Please pray that I may be molded into an effective instrument of the Lord. That I may be open to and retain the education I am receiving, and that I may be always docile to the prompts of the Holy Spirit.

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Seminarian Jacob Hartman

First Year Theology
(Studying at Mundelein Seminary)

I grew up in a Catholic family and attended Catholic school K - 12, but the idea of becoming a priest never crossed my mind until my junior year of high school. During adoration, at a retreat, I prayed "Lord what do you want me to do with my life?" Right then, the thought of the priesthood came into my head. My initial response was, "sorry wrong number." I ran from the prospect of a priestly calling for about 9 months. Yet, through the influence of priests in my life, I began to realize that I could not keep running from the Lord. I opened myself up to honestly discerning a potential call to the priesthood. During my senior year, I realized that if God was calling me to be a priest, it was because that is what he made me for, and the priesthood would bring me the greatest amount of joy, peace, and happiness in this life. I recognized that I needed to at least take the next step in discernment and enter the seminary. Since that time the Lord has fulfilled that desire, He has given me more joy, peace, and fulfillment than I could ever have hoped to receive. I enjoy baseball, fishing, splitting wood, reading, drinking coffee, and good conversations. My priest aspiration is to walk with people in the joys and sufferings of their life.

Seminarian Piotr Niezgoda