Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend Meet the Seminarians

2021-2022

Deacon Mark Hellinger

Transitional Deacon
4th Year Theology, Pontifical North American College

Home Parish: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Ft. Wayne
Favorite Hobbies: Reading, Fishing, Sewing, Euchre
Favorite Saints: St. John the Baptist
Favorite Scripture: John’s Prologue (1-18)
What Made You Want to Be a Priest?
I have felt called to be a priest from the time I was very little. I never really knew why, but it was a call placed on my heart. A developing love for the beauty of the Faith along with the countless examples of faithful priests in my life helped make becoming a priest attractive to me. I would say that a desire to do God’s will in my life is the main reason I want to be a priest.

Deacon Brian Isenbarger

Transitional Deacon
4th Year Theology, Mount St. Mary’s

Home Parish: St. John the Baptist, Ft. Wayne
Favorite Hobbies: Biking, Reading, Chicago Cubs Baseball
Favorite Saints: St. Joseph, St. John Paul II, St. Therese
Favorite Scripture: Romans 8:28
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? If the Eucharist is Jesus, and Jesus is God, then it is the greatest thing to exist, period. Why not give yourself to that?

LeeAllen Fortin

4th Year Theology, Mount St. Mary’s (OH)

Home Parish: St. Peter, Ft. Wayne
Favorite Hobbies: Reading Scripture, Prayer, Running, Biking, Basketball
Favorite Saints: The Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph…very hard to rank them after that but St. Veronica Giuliani is up there.
Favorite Scripture: Luke 9:35
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? An encounter with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist that came with the awareness that it was what He wanted.

Samuel Anderson

3rd Year Theology, Pontifical North American College

Home Parish: St. Vincent de Paul, Ft. Wayne
Favorite Hobbies: Running, Cycling, Camping, Cooking, Painting
Favorite Saints: St. John the Evangelist, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Phillip Neri, St. John Paul II, St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta, St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Favorite Scripture: Romans 8:15-17
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? God’s call to share His love and mercy, revealed to us in Christ, with those who do not know Him. 

Brian Florin

3rd Year Theology, Mount St. Mary’s

Home Parish: St. Pius X, Granger
Favorite Hobbies: Basketball, Running, Outdoors
Favorite Saints: St. Therese of Lisieux, St. John Paul II, and St. Mary Magdalene
Favorite Scripture: Philippians 2:6-11
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? Seeing the lives and example of other holy and joyful priests who spend their lives bringing Heaven to earth! I also believe this is the way God is calling me to be a saint, which I desire above all else for both myself and all of humanity. 

Robert (Bobby) Krisch

3rd Year Theology, Mount St. Mary’s

Home Parish: St. Jude, South Bend
Favorite Saints: Blessed Mother, St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Philomena, and Blessed Stanley Rother
Favorite Scripture: Matthew 6:19-21
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? I want to bring Jesus to people, and I want to bring people to Jesus. Having received God’s love and mercy through His priests, I want to be the conduit of God’s love and mercy to others. 

Zane Langenbrunner

3rd Year Theology, Pontifical North American College

Home Parish: St. Bavo, Mishawaka
Favorite Hobbies: Drumming, Singing, Languages, Sports, Coffee and Tea
Favorite Saints: St. Augustine, St. Francis of Assisi, St. John Bosco, St. John Paul II 
Favorite Scripture: Hebrews 4:12
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? A love for Jesus in the Eucharist was the origin of my vocation. I would spend many afternoons praying at the Adoration Chapel at the Sisters of St. Francis convent in Mishawaka. That chapel is where I first heard Him inviting me to discern the priesthood. Looking back, the sisters probably prayed me into the seminary! As I got to know priests on a personal level, I saw in their lives profound joy, selflessness, and love. The priesthood is a life laid down completely for the love of Christ. This is what I hope to do!  

David Langford

3rd Year Theology, Mount St. Mary’s

Home Parish: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Ft. Wayne
Favorite Hobbies: History, Fiction, Technology, Sports
Favorite Saints: St. Mother Teresa, St. John Paul II, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Henry Newman, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Favorite Scripture: I John 1
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? Growing up I always had the sense that God wanted me to be a priest. Seeing the example of various priests in my teenage years inspired me to say yes.

Jacob Schneider

3rd Year Theology, Mount St. Mary’s

Home Parish: St. Charles Borromeo, Ft. Wayne
Favorite Hobbies: Soccer, Water Skiing, Horseback Riding, DIY Projects
Favorite Saints: St. Peter, St. Augustine, St. Teresa of Avila
Favorite Scripture: Psalm 63:1-2
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? First, because I know the man who has called me to it; if you know Jesus you will embrace His request out of love for Him. Second, because of the outstanding priests that have inspired me to follow their example and give my life wholly to Jesus Christ by becoming a fisher of men. 

Ryan Timossi

3rd Year Theology, Mount St. Mary’s (OH)

Home Parish: Queen of Angels, Ft. Wayne
Favorite Hobbies: Ping Pong, Singing in Choir, Mountain Biking
Favorite Saints: St. Pio of Pietrelcina and St. Alphonsus Liguorii
Favorite Scripture: Romans 8:18
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? As a junior in high school I thought to myself, “what would life be like if I got rid of all of those things that the Church says are gravely sinful.” After making such a resolution I slowly freed myself from grave sin and God’s grace continued its work by bringing me to love prayer and the greatest of all prayers, holy Mass! As my love for the Mass grew, I felt the Lord inviting me to be one of those few lucky ones who dedicate themselves totally to the distribution of Christ’s saving merits through the Sacraments. I also have been graced to have had good examples of holy priests who have helped me greatly through my process of discernment.

Oscar Duarte

2nd Year Theology, Mount St. Mary’s

Home Parish: St. Joseph, Ft. Wayne
Favorite Hobbies: Playing Music (Drums & Guitar)
Favorite Saints: St. Jacinta Marto, St. John Vianney, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Laura Montoya 
Favorite Scripture: Philippians 4:13
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? Realizing that God has a much greater plan for my life than the one I had for myself. 

Caleb Kruse

2nd Year Theology, Mount St. Mary’s

Home Parish: St. Vincent de Paul, Ft. Wayne
Favorite Hobbies: Running, Reading, Chess, Instruments
Favorite Saints: St. John the Apostle, St. Philip Neri
Favorite Scripture: John 15:1-17
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? I’ve wanted to be a priest since I was a little kid. As a I grew up, many priests witnessed the joy of their priesthood and taught me how to pray. In prayer, God placed a desire in me to have “God alone as my inheritance” and to give my life away consecrated to the Church. God-willing, I am very excited to serve as one of His priests soon.

Andrew Barnes

1st Year Theology, Mount St. Mary’s (OH)

Home Parish: St. Pius X, Granger
Favorite Hobbies: Golf, Basketball, Euchre
Favorite Saints: St. John Paul II, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. John Bausch
Favorite Scripture: “My Lord and my God!”
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? During my first couple of years of college, when I went to pray, the idea of priesthood would continue to persist in my mind, pushing me towards joining the seminary. Upon entering seminary, I began to come to know the beauty and incredible reality of priesthood. The priest is able to enter into people’s lives daily and directly be a witness of Christ for them. He dies to himself for Christ and His Church, and not only that but is able to offer the greatest sacrifice of Jesus’ Body and Blood to the Father everyday. There seems to be no greater reality than this, and it is humbling to know that God may be calling me to this vocation. 

Nicholas Monnin

1st Year Theology, Pontifical North American College

Home Parish: St. Matthew Cathedral, South Bend
Favorite Hobbies: Basketball, Golf, Jazz Music, Cooking, Learning Foreign Languages
Favorite Saints: St. Joseph, St. Michael the Archangel, and St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Favorite Scripture: Matthew 11:28-30
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? I want to be a priest because my pastor growing up, Msgr. Heintz, showed me the joy of the priesthood and the joy of a life lived for God. Having that great priestly example first started my desire to serve God and the Church as a priest. From there, it was God teaching me to surrender more readily to Him and to His Will, and that has given me great certainty in my decision to work towards priesthood. In growing in my love for God, I’ve seen that I would very much enjoy the life of a priest and that my gifts and talents are well-suited for service as a priest. In short, I want to be a priest because I think I’d be good at it, and I feel that God is calling me to that vocation.

Patrick (PJ) Ernst

2nd Year Pre-Theology, Mount St. Mary’s

Home Parish: St. Pius X, Granger
Favorite Hobbies: Rugby, Skeet Shooting, Singing
Favorite Saints: St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face; St. Augustine; St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Favorite Scripture: Psalm 32:7
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? I would say three things primarily. Meeting both happy and holy priests around the diocese, having people tell me time and again that I should seriously consider going to seminary, and finally, in the quiet of my heart, hearing the Father lovingly invite me to go to seminary.

Jonathan Hickey

2nd Year Pre-Theology, Mount St. Mary’s

Home Parish: St. John the Baptist, Ft. Wayne
Favorite Hobbies: Playing Trombone, Sci-Fi Movies, Walking in Nature, Computer Hardware, Playing with Dogs
Favorite Saints: St. Martin of Tours, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and St. John the Baptist 
Favorite Scripture: Galatians 4: 4-7
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? I started seriously discerning the priesthood my junior year at Bishop Luers High School. I have had a few experiences during this time of discernment where I felt a peaceful sense of clarity that I should pursue this desire of possibly going to seminary. One of these times took place after my parish’s 2018 Corpus Christi procession and afterwards having adoration. Right after adoration I was given the Eucharist which we were all adoring moments earlier in the monstrance! At that moment I felt a strong desire to do what that priest was doing, giving people Jesus in the Sacraments! This, and other moments like them, made me want to enter seminary.  

Greenan Sullivan

2nd Year Pre-Theology, Mount St. Mary’s

Home Parish: St. Anthony de Padua, South Bend
Favorite Hobbies: Basketball, Fantasy Novels
Favorite Saints: St. Jude and St. Lawrence 
Favorite Scripture: 1 Mac. 3:17-19
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? A love for souls.

Samuel Martinez

2nd Year Pre-Theology, Mount St. Mary’s

Home Parish: St. Charles Borromeo, Ft. Wayne
Favorite Hobbies: Ice Hockey, Guitar, Baking Bread, Cooking, Nutrition 
Favorite Saints: St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Jacinta, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Peregrine, St. Jude, St. Charles Borromeo, St. James the Lesser, and of course the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Favorite Scripture: John 21
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? The realization that with everything God has given me, the best I can do is offer my will back to Him to do with as He wills. 

Noah Isch

4th Year College, Bishop Simon Bruté

Home Parish: St. Charles Borromeo, Ft. Wayne
Favorite Hobbies: Watching Colts and Notre Dame Football. I also like to Golf. 
Favorite Saints: St. John the Evangelist and St. John Paul II
Favorite Scripture: John 6
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? Serving Mass at St. Charles as well as the beauty I saw in the Mass led me to want to be a priest. The Eucharist was, and has been, a huge part of my discernment. 

Eric Plude

1st Year Pre – Theology

Home Parish: St. Pius X, Granger
Favorite Hobbies: Sports, traveling to other countries, and coral reef keeping.
Favorite Saints: St. Peter, Pope Pius X, Mother Teresa, Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, John Henry Newman, Thomas More
Favorite Scripture: Psalm 23 & John 21
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? A call deep in my heart to share the gospel with others and to give everything to follow Christ’s will for my life. Also the examples of holy, gifted priests who chose to dedicate their life exclusively to the service of the Church.

Michael Hickey

1st Year Pre – Theology

Home Parish: St. John the Baptist, Fort Wayne
Favorite Hobbies: Playing music (bass guitar), target shooting, corgis, sci-fi movies, documentaries, computer hardware, law enforcement
Favorite Saints: St. John Paul II, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Peter, St. Michael, Blessed Stanley Rother, St. Bernardine of Siena
Favorite Scripture: 1 Peter 1:6-9
What Made You Want to Be a Priest? I started to seriously discern the priesthood in high school and college. Two moments of clarity stick out that made me think that I might be called to the priesthood. One moment of clarity was talking with a women who was at a difficult time in her faith and ultimately inviting her to become Catholic. Another moment was praying with a patient during an emergency situation while I was working at the hospital. It was in these moments of clarity that I believe God is calling me to serve Him and His people as a priest.

REQUEST A POSTER

To request a copy of the annual Seminarian Poster or Prayer Cards, contact the Vocation Office:
260-422-4611