Ethan Menning

College I
St. John Vianney Seminary

What a blessing and joy it is to be a seminarian representing the Archdiocese of Omaha! I am so incredibly excited to see where the Lord takes me and how many amazing people I will encounter. I have always been a Nebraska “cradle Catholic” boy, having a home in Gretna. I love to run, play spikeball, and watch and play baseball and football (Go Big Red!). In the first grade, my family became parishioners at St. Patrick in Elkhorn. There, I would encounter the Lord in radical ways. I went to school there through eighth grade and was confirmed to the Church in 2018 by Archbishop Lucas. Throughout my high school years, I attended Steubenville Conferences, You are Loved retreats, Cloisters on the Platte, Virtus et Veritas, a discernment group called SALT, and weekly fellowship with the St. Patrick Youth Group. Without St. Pat’s, my home, I would not be where I am now.

After graduating from St. Patrick, I went to Gretna High School. My heart was torn open, realizing how many people never experience the Heart of the Father and His comfort, mainly because people do not tell them! The Lord gave me many wonderful opportunities for evangelization and to encounter different beliefs.

After my first semester of freshman year, I promised myself I needed to bring the Gospel to the people around me dynamically and enthusiastically. However, I had no idea what that meant at the time. I would have the blessing to meet and reengage many faithful friends who wanted to draw nearer to the Father and talk about our beautiful encounters with the world. I would be inspired by my family, friends, youth ministers, and my priestly formators and directors. Through the example of on-fire priests and parishioners, I realized that the Lord was calling me to the seminary to pursue the priestly call and serve the Lord as a beacon of truth and hope.

After I graduated from Gretna High in 2022, I was accepted into St. John Vianney Seminary on the University of St. Thomas campus in St. Paul, Minnesota. I majored in philosophy and Catholic studies. I am continually surprised at how carefully, specifically, and peacefully the Lord forms my heart here and prepares me to serve you all! The other seminarians here are such authentic and caring friends. The most insightful formators care deeply about the heart of the individual man.

Any discerning man ought always to cling to our Blessed Momma Mary. The Lord desires peace, comfort, restoration, and big things from you! The Lord does not call the perfect but desires to make you the best version of yourself. Listen to Jesus and Momma Mary and admire the holy examples in your life. Know that all of the Archdiocese of Omaha (or “The Big O,” as we say at SJV!) is in my prayers. I cannot express how much your support means to me. Peace of Christ!

Hey! I’m Zach Eischeid. I grew up in Elgin, Nebraska and belong to the Saint Boniface Parish. I attended Saint Boniface Elementary and graduated from Pope John XXIII Central Catholic High School. Saint Boniface Parish is a great place to learn about the Faith with our schools and to see so many parishioners helping each other and our parish in a myriad of ways.

My discernment has been around for as long as I can remember. Since I was a toddler, the priesthood always amazed me. However, around junior high, I kept pushing it to the back of my mind because I didn’t want to be labeled as that “extra-religious guy.” After graduating, I decided to attend Benedictine College to major in Theology. Towards the end of my first year at Benedictine, while at my sister’s wedding dance, I oddly had a strong feeling about seminary. A month later, I attended the priest ordination while teaching Totus Tuus, and started weeping during the procession in the cathedral. This sign was big encouragement in finally giving my future in God’s hands. I am currently at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis and have made many fraternal friendships, as we are all on the same journey of striving to be what God wants us to be.

For all those with even an inkling about entering seminary, I encourage you to be open to it. Pray about it, frequent the sacraments, and remember: “You were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” And remember, every priest and seminarian has gone through what you are going through.

In my down time, I like playing any sport, especially basketball and baseball, jamming on the ukulele, listening to Christian rap, watching Nebraska football, and combating heresy.