Cory Russman

College IV
St. John Paul II Seminary
Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish

What did you do prior to entering seminary?

I graduated from Clarke County High School with a burning desire to bridge the distance between heaven and earth with a rocket. I attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the fall of 2012 to study Aerospace Engineering and soon came to see that the true bridge between heaven and earth was not a rocket, but Jesus Christ. In keeping with the metaphor, I “aborted my mission” and returned home to work and pray during the spring semester of that same year. God led me through prayer to attend George Mason University, which gave me the optimal environment to continue studying engineering while nurturing my Catholic faith within the thriving George Mason Catholic Campus Ministry (GMU CCM).

What influenced your decision to apply for seminary entrance?

In short-form, God brought the entire arsenal. The trigger that started the extensive fallout was a great friend and a daily Rosary. Once the Blessed Virgin Mary entered the fold she left me with little choice – like a true mother. She guided me directly to her Son and I soon came to love Him and understand His boundless love for me at a level I never had before. This love for Christ and His Church led to many strong friendships and an open heart for His plan for my life.

Why do you want to be a priest?

I love Jesus Christ and His Church and after a few years of “[doing] whatever He tells [me],” I am where I am today. I desire what He desires.

What are your favorite pastimes?

Being a son, brother and a friend, followed by various activities which include taking walks, playing tennis and studying astronomy.

What is your favorite quote?

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.” - Mark Twain

Who is your favorite Saint and why?

St. Therese of Lisieux touches my heart because of her style. Therese wanted to take a metal box on a pulley system to Heaven, but I am certain if she lived 50 years later, she would’ve wanted to take the metal box with a rocket booster attached. She is straight forward and direct, authentic and open. Lastly, I admire her ability to take the most unassuming task and turn it into an amazing expression of her love for Christ.

What advice would you give to a young man thinking about the seminary?

God calls “you”. He doesn’t call who you wish you were or who other people think you should be. Bring yourself and the shirt on your back because that is all Jesus requires. Most of all, you must be patient. Desires from God don’t run dry, and patience roots out all the others.