Brandon Hernandez

Propaedeutic Year – Theology
Kenrick-Glennon Seminary

I was born and raised in Norfolk, NE and attended Sacred Heart Parish my whole life. Growing up, I was a cradle Catholic who simply went through the motions and did as I was told. My parents were active in their faith and would constantly drag my two siblings and me to Sunday mass and CCD.

During 8th grade, I was invited to a weekend retreat in Omaha by our youth minister, Danny Leger. At first, I was hesitant about attending, but was convinced to go by my parents. During this retreat, I had a personal encounter with the Lord in the sacrament of reconciliation. The Lord took my brokenness and filled it with peace and love I had never experienced before. A few months later I had the opportunity to attend JC Camp, a five-day retreat for incoming freshmen. My love for the Lord and our Catholic faith only grew so much more in those five days.

As I entered high school I was on fire with the Lord and desired nothing but Christ-centered friendships. Unfortunately, that was difficult to find at a public school. Several of my friends since elementary school began falling into drugs, alcohol, partying, etc. I knew the Lord desired so much more for me, so I made the difficult decision of no longer pursuing these friendships. I became very active in youth ministry and Hispanic ministry, where eventually I found those friendships, I had been longing for.

As high school was coming to an end, the question “What’s next?” kept coming up. I had no idea what I wanted to major in, let alone where I wanted to go. All I knew was a I desired a Catholic community. I knew seminary wasn’t meant for me as I desired to get married and have a family. That’s when I heard about the Newman Center on the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s campus. Without a doubt, I knew that’s where I was meant to be. Eventually, I declared a double major in Secondary Education and Spanish with an endorsement in English as a second language. While at Newman, I was challenged on a daily basis to dive deeper into my relationship with our Lord.

Through Bible studies, discipleship, daily sacraments, and intentional conversations I grew so much with the Lord.  One day in prayer the Lord spoke to me “I want more of you, Brandon.” Deep down I knew where he was leading me with that, but decided to brush it aside quite a few times. Well, the Lord is very patient and keeps coming back to it. On Holy Thursday of 2022, Fr. Roza was preaching about our Lord’s priesthood. Toward the end of his homily, he said, “Let’s pray for the people who are hardest to let go of to the priesthood” and that’s when the Lord brought it all together and spoke to me “Brandon, you’re the one who’s hardest to let go of yourself.” So many emotions flood my mind and did not know how to react. 

Fast forward some time, and I am excited to be starting the Propaedeutic Program at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. I appreciate the continuous support and prayers as I discern the Lord’s will for me.

Thank you!
Brandon Hernandez

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.