Robert Wagner

Pre-Theology II
Pontifical College Josephinum
Blessed Sacrament Parish

What did you do prior to entering seminary?

I was a dentist in private practice and also practiced dentistry on a contractual basis for the National Guard and in correctional settings.

What influenced your decision to apply for seminary entrance?

As a second career seminarian, I thought I had safely put he idea of priesthood behind me years ago as I pursued my dreams. But, a profound event at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, MA, on a business trip, in which I experienced the love of Christ through the Eucharist, changed all that. I began to realize that it had changed me forever. As I increasingly submitted my will to His, He in return began to unfold His plan for me. All the seeds that had been planted in my life earlier began to come to life. It was the most beautiful and exciting time of my life as He very clearly and unequivocally led me to study for the Arlington Diocese.

Why do you want to be a priest?

I have a great love of people and wish to be an instrument of bringing the hope, joy, and peace of Christ to others; both through the sacraments and the many other ways a priest interacts with the faithful.

What are your favorite pastimes?

Reading, travel, history, music, being with good friends.

What is your favorite quote?

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”—St. Augustine

Who is your favorite Saint and why?

Having Polish heritage, two saints are on equal footing—Saint Faustina and Pope St. John Paul II. St. Faustina for being the messenger of the Divine Mercy devotion. I admire her suffering the tribulations of life with a joyful heart and always “trusting in Jesus.” St. John Paul II, among many reasons, for being the Mercy pope and for bringing the true “spirit of Vatican II” to fruition. He was also a wonderful role model for the parish priest in the modern world.

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

(Or a man of any age): If one has never quite been able to “shake the idea” of priesthood, no matter how deeply it may be buried, give it another chance. Spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament and ask God if you are really doing what is His will for you. And open yourself to whatever the answer may be. If priesthood is His will, He will remove any fears, doubts, or obstacles. Remember, if God wills it, it will happen.