Harrison Elhabbal

College I
Saint John Vianney Seminary

I was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on April 7th, 2005, into a homeschooling Catholic family of eight siblings. At seven years old, my family and I moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia, and remained there for ten years due to my Dad’s work in the military. I met several good friends in Virginia and developed a strong love for playing sports, especially baseball and rugby. Only last November, my family and I moved back to Omaha and are parishioners at St Wenceslaus Parish. 

My first love for Jesus and my desire for the priesthood grew significantly during my junior year in high school. Throughout my early high school years, I struggled greatly with God’s call for me, but the Lord never stopped pursuing me and eventually reached my heart by working through and in the people around me. In addition, incredible high school retreats, strong and inspiring priest role models, and time spent in prayer allowed me to become more docile to God’s will and more accepting of Christ’s love for me, which fueled my desire to draw others closer to the heart of Jesus. Due to God’s grace and all the experiences in my high school years, I could say yes to the opportunity to visit a college seminary, which ultimately gave me the courage to apply to the seminary and pursue a deeper trust in my relationship with the Father.

As I enter seminary formation, I hope to grow closer to Jesus through spending time with Him and through my philosophy and Catholic Studies at St. John Vianney College Seminary. My advice to someone discerning the call to the priesthood is to spend authentic time with Jesus in Eucharistic adoration and to have a spiritual director to walk with. In addition, I believe it is crucial to know that God does not rule by fear; instead, God’s voice is peaceful, true, good, and beautiful, and God’s will is a path to fulfill your deepest desires. Finally, as Padre Pio once said, “You do not have to be worthy; you just have to be willing.”

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.