Rev. Mr. Steven Oetjen

Theology IV
North American College
St. Lawrence Parish

What did you do prior to entering seminary?

I studied Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and got some work experience over the summers doing engineering analysis and programming as a civilian employee of the Navy.

What influenced your decision to apply for seminary entrance?

I learned to devote a lot of my time to prayer with the Blessed Sacrament. In adoration, Jesus slowly uncovered desires deep in my heart, the desires to serve the Church and to be a spiritual father. From prayer and seeking guidance from holy priests, it became clearer to me that I needed to continue this discernment in seminary.

Why do you want to be a priest?

I want to give my life entirely to God and His Church. If He wants me to be an instrument through which He gives His people eternal life, then I want that too. It's hard to imagine anything more fulfilling and meaningful than sharing in the priesthood and victimhood of Jesus as head of the body and bridegroom to the Church.

What are your favorite pastimes?

I like to play all sorts of sports, such as basketball, soccer, baseball, football, volleyball, and rugby, although I'm not very good at any of them. I also like running, weightlifting, reading, chanting, and talking to good friends.

What is your favorite quote?

"Man is hindered and distracted just in so far as he makes himself the center of everything." Thomas a Kempis

Who is your favorite Saint and why?

Second to Our Blessed Mother, my favorite Saint is St. Philip Neri. He founded the Oratory in Rome, and Oratories have since spread to many places, including my college city of Pittsburgh. The Oratorian priests there were very important to my growth in prayer and vocational discernment up to this point. St. Philip is also an awesome example of intense prayer, humility, purity, good humor, and a joyful living of the Christian life.

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

Attend Mass as often as you can, and devote yourself to daily prayer, especially Eucharistic adoration. Fall in love with Jesus, and don't be afraid to follow Him wherever He leads you. You'll be happiest being and doing whatever God wills you to be and to do. Talk to others, especially holy priests.