By Christopher Wickman
Special to The Message
First Theology, St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology
Home parish: Our Lady of Hope, Washington
Growing up, my family was very involved with volunteering in the church and community. Some of my earliest memories are going to the St. Vincent de Paul store to help sort through donations with my parents. I also remember my dad reading and serving as Eucharistic minister at Mass and my mom taking communion to the homebound and taking nightly calls for the prayer chain.
I first heard a call and considered priesthood when I was in elementary school. That’s when the idea entered my mind. The thought grew a little stronger in high school when I spent a lot of time serving Mass and helping out around the church in my free time. Later in life, after college and several years of working, the idea returned.
I went to Washington Catholic High School and then Purdue University for Mechanical Engineering Technology. Following graduation, I attended Butler University for a Master of Business Administration. I worked as a staff resident for three years at Purdue, and I worked as sales engineer and product marketing manager for 12 years after college.
I finally decided to go to seminary when I left my job in Indianapolis and returned to my home, the Diocese of Evansville, after 17 years.
When I got to seminary, it was a difficult adjustment after living alone and in a house for so long and then going to a small room in community.
The first time someone told me that they thought I would make a good priest was probably in about fifth grade, but I was told several times throughout life.
The most helpful thing you can do to encourage vocations is go to adoration, pray and plant the seed in the minds of young people.