Andrew Lewandowski

Pre-Theology I
Mount Saint Mary's Seminary
University of Pittsburgh, George Mason University, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Saint Francis de Sales Parish, Purcellville

What did you do prior to entering seminary?  

After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1991, I moved to northern Virginia and began a career in Information Technology (IT). In 1998, after completing a master’s degree in information engineering from George Mason University, I co-founded an IT consulting company and continued to work as a systems engineering consultant and business owner for the next 20 years. In August 2018, I entered a religious community, spending one year as a postulant with the Marians of the Immaculate Conception.

What influenced your decision to apply for seminary entrance?

I grew up with a strong love for the Church, coming to believe with certainty in the Real Presence of the Eucharist at an early age. Even so, I lived most of my adult life compartmentalizing my faith, rooted in the Church, but unwilling to let go of the world and my desire to be in control. But I had several profound spiritual encounters in my 40s that led me to understand more deeply the immeasurable patience, love and mercy of God. After that, I wanted so much to surrender my life completely to Christ and His Church. After joining a religious community in August 2018, I grew to love the community and its spiritual charism, but it also became clearer to me through that discernment process that God was calling me to pursue the diocesan priesthood.

Why do you want to be a priest?

I want to give my life in complete service and sacrifice to Christ and His Church. I want to work for the salvation of every soul by leading others to Truth, and to trust in the infinite mercy and goodness of an all-loving God. I want to nourish God’s people through the graces and mercies offered through the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church. And, I want to share in the joys and struggles of others, helping them to carry their crosses to victory in Christ.

What are your favorite pastimes?

Fishing, camping, hiking, music, playing cards, and spending time with family and friends

What is your favorite quote?

“The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness” - Pope Benedict XVI

Who is your favorite Saint and why?

Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko - who took to heart the call of St. John Paul the Great to “Be not afraid.” Blessed Jerzy most courageously never wavered in defense of Truth and laid down his life in sacrifice for Christ and the people he loved. If ordained, I hope to model my priesthood after his.

I have also recently come to love and rely upon Saint Therese of Lisieux as a trusted intercessor, after consecrating myself to Jesus’ merciful love this past Divine Mercy Sunday. I desire to echo her prayer:

“O My God! Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to Love You and make You Loved, to work for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls on earth and liberating those suffering in purgatory. I desire to accomplish Your will perfectly and to reach the degree of glory You have prepared for me in Your Kingdom. I desire, in a word, to be a saint, but I feel my helplessness and I beg You, O my God! to be Yourself my Sanctity!...”

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

Pray a lot! Be in conversation with God frequently. If possible, visit Him daily in the Blessed Sacrament and be in His Eucharistic presence. Quiet yourself and your anxieties. Listen to and meditate upon God’s Word, especially spoken through Scriptures. Speak honestly to Him about your fears and anxieties but ask Him to give you the grace and courage to trust in His plans for you, and to help you surrender your life to Him. And, consider making a total consecration to Jesus Christ through Mary – if you place your life in her hands, she will lead you in the simplest path to Jesus and accompany and guide you along the entire path.