Upcoming seminary visit a unique opportunity
Located in the peaceful Mississippi River town of Winona, Minnesota, Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary (IHMS) is one of the college seminaries our diocese sends young men discerning priesthood. Through an outstanding foundation of prayer, philosophy, and theology, IHMS, in partnership with Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, uses instruction based on the rich history of the Catholic Church in its Program of Priestly Formation.
Despite its integration with Saint Mary’s University, the seminary is a distinct community in and of itself. Seminarians from diverse backgrounds, talents, temperaments, and abilities are united by Christian charity in this brotherhood. The seminarians are involved in many facets of the town of Winona through apostolic works serving the poor and underserved. They enrich their lives through wholesome recreation, exercise, and leisure activities in addition to academic and priestly formation. Being able to form the mind and body, to be fully realized in the design that God has planned for each individual, is a central goal of IHMS. Taking into account four pillars of formation: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral, it seeks to develop every seminarian’s best qualities.
Joe Hanson, a seminarian for the Diocese of Rapid City, is set to complete his undergraduate studies this year at the school. Like many of our priests and current seminarians, a seminary visit was the first step in discerning God’s call to priesthood.
“In my senior year of high school, I made a visit to IHM Seminary. I wasn’t so sure about what I was going to encounter, but I felt that the Lord was asking me to be open to see if the seminary was where he was calling me. I spent the weekend at IHM getting to know the seminarians, learning about what seminary actually is like, and entering into fraternity with the men in the house. Most importantly, I was able to pray with the seminarians. It was this week when the Lord really solidified the desire that he had put on my heart. I would really recommend that young men visit the seminary. It was incredibly helpful for me as I was discerning the Lord’s call for my life,” said Hanson.
He has more to say, Wednesday, March 1, the seminary posted an interview with Joe Hanson.
What was the most important lesson you learned while attending IHMS?
“The most important lesson I have learned from IHMS certainly is the importance of prayer in my life. IHMS has formed my heart to long for an intimate relationship with Christ, and has given me the opportunity to establish this relationship. It has given me a Eucharistic worldview which has been indispensable to my prayer life.”
What is your favorite memory from IHMS?
“My favorite memory would probably be jumping into the lake at our annual Vir in Christo retreat while it was 50º outside during my junior year at IHMS.”
What were your thoughts on entering seminary when you first came to IHMS and how have they changed?
“I really thought that seminary was going to be an exceptionally formal place all of the time, and of course, some things we do are very formal, but I have come to realize that being in seminary is really about being authentic, in those formal moments, but also in those every-day, laidback, and admittedly goofy moments of life.”
What are your plans after graduation?
“Next year I will be starting my theological studies at Saint Paul Seminary in Saint Paul, Minn.”
A personal invitation encouraging a young man to attend a seminary visit is imperative as we work together to build flourishing parish families. The Office of Vocations plans to take its next trip on March 17-20, 2023. The registration deadline is March 10. Contact Fr. Mark McCormick or learn more by visiting www.Gods-call.org.