Hello! My name is Brad Berhorst, and I am currently a third year Theology student at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. I grew up around Jefferson City, belonging to St. Martin Parish and attending elementary school there for grades K-8. I have one older brother who lives with his wife in southern MO, and my parents still live in my childhood home not far from St. Martins. I attended Helias Catholic High School in Jefferson City, graduating in 2009. Having loved growing up in central Missouri, but wanting to go experience another part of the country for a while, I chose for my undergraduate studies the University of Dallas in Irving, TX. I was very blessed to spend four years there, receiving a stellar education from truly wonderful professors in the company of a fantastic student body. I graduated from UD in May of 2013 with a B.A. in Mathematics and Theology.
It was there at UD that I began to grow in my faith in the way that eventually led me to enter the seminary, but it wasn’t until my final year there that I really was able to put it all together. I had once heard a priest describe vocation as “the place where the greatest desires of our heart meet the greatest needs of the world.” I think that for me, ordination to the diocesan priesthood means precisely that: placing one’s life—gifts, talents, weaknesses, and all—wholly at the disposal of Christ through His Church. In my own case, I have found the study of theology to be extremely fulfilling, and service has for some time been a great part of my life. Furthermore, there is a great need, especially right now in the Diocese of Jefferson City, for priests. Without priests, we can have no sacraments, which ought to be the foundation of the Catholic spiritual life. I think that I probably found my call to the seminary somewhere in the intersection of all these things. Of course, I did not put all that together in a day, but once I did, it led to my decision to enter the seminary to continue discernment of a priestly vocation for the diocese.
My time in the seminary so far has been very blessed. I spent my first two years in the Pre-Theology program at Conception Seminary College in northwest MO, and since completing my formation and studies there in May of 2015 have come to the North American College in Rome to continue my formation and education. It’s a busy life, but a good one, and nearly everything we do is centered around growing in self-knowledge, knowledge of Christ and His Church, and relationship with Christ Himself.
Please pray for us seminarians as we work to conform our hearts more closely to the Sacred and Priestly Heart of Jesus, for perseverance in our studies and openness to the work of the Holy Spirit. And pray, too, that more young men, especially from the Diocese of Jefferson City, may say yes to the call to come discern a priestly vocation in seminary, where all the tools of the Church are at our disposal to discern with the utmost freedom.