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Name: Michael Pleva

Date of Birth: December 2, 1994

Hometown: Altoona

Parish: Holy Rosary, Altoona (Juniata)

Seminary Year: 1st Year Theology at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, PA

2017 Summer Assignment:  Institute for Priestly Formation Program in Omaha, Nebraska

Personal Interests: Theology, psychology, sports, and exercising.

Why do you feel called to the Priesthood? I feel called to the priesthood because I desire to share the love and mercy of Jesus Christ to all His people through the sacraments and a holy way of life.

What advice would you give to a man considering the Priesthood? Our God calls ordinary men to do extraordinary things for His people. Do not allow fear or irrational thoughts of unworthiness hinder your discernment. Remember to pray often, seek spiritual direction from a priest, and attend the sacraments.

Michael Pleva

Name: Mark Groeger

Date of Birth: May 17, 1958

Hometown: Ridgway

Parish: St. Leo Magnus, Ridgway

Seminary Year: 1st Year Theology at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, PA

2017 Summer Assignment:  Institute for Priestly Formation Program in Omaha, Nebraska

Personal Interests: I love Rottweilers andhorses. I enjoy playing tennis, watching Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey, Pittsburgh Steeler Football, and Pittsburgh Pirate Baseball. I’m an avid DCI fan and have been a member of the Maroon & Gold Club supporting the Cadets for a number of years. I also enjoy spending time with my family and being at the Beach.

Why do you feel called to the Priesthood? I’ve always loved working with people. I’ve had a very rewarding career in health care for a number of years which has afforded me the opportunity to help people. I feel God has blessed me through these life experiences and is calling me to service to share and help others in a spiritual way.

What advice would you give to a man considering the Priesthood? Open your heart to the will of God. Pray, be patient and listen. He will speak to your heart. The joy and peace you experience when you hear him is overwhelming.

Mark Groeger

Name: Neil Brett

Date of Birth:  November 28, 1993

Hometown: Johnstown

Parish: Our Mother of Sorrows, Johnstown (Westmont)

Seminary Year: 2nd Year Pre-Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, MD

Personal Interests: Playing banjo, Bagpipes, watching movies, video games, and being outdoors (kayaking, biking, and hiking)

Why do you feel called to the Priesthood? For me, the call didn’t come in a magnificent vision or a life changing sign. My call to discern the priesthood came through the passions God has instilled in my life: a love for teaching, public speaking, and helping others. All of these are intensified when God and the Catholic faith are involved. 

What advice would you give to a man considering the Priesthood? You are not ordained on your first day of seminary, you are here to discern this great vocation and to grow deeper in your faith.

Neil Brett

Name: Brian Norris

Date of Birth: April 30, 1995

Hometown: Duncansville

Parish: St. Mary’s, Hollidaysburg

Seminary Year: 2nd Year Pre-Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, MD

Personal Interests: Anything Football related, reading, and weightlifting

Why do you feel called to the Priesthood? I feel called to the priesthood in the Altoona Johnstown Diocese in order to serve the people and the local diocesan church. I have felt a more or less consistent call to the priesthood since I attended Camp Zacchaeus in 8th grade. Now as a young adult, I see our local choice in vocational need and I could not, in good conscience, wait on pursuing my possible diocesan priest vocation. I feel that if I am truly called to be a priest, that I owe it to our local church to discern my call now enabling me to give as much of my life to the church as possible.

What advice would you give to a man considering the Priesthood? Do not try to rule out the seminary while living in the secular world. You cannot rule out a life that you have not experienced. Instead try to rule out a secular life while living in the secular world, and then give the seminary a chance. My pastor, Father Anthony J. Legarski, gave this advice to me, and thus far that is the best advice I have received in regards to discernment.

Brian Norris

Name: Justin Treon

Date of Birth: October 11, 1994

Hometown: Cresson

Parish: St. Aloysius, Cresson

Seminary Year: 1st Year Pre-Theology at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, PA

Personal Interests: Fishing, Hiking, Hunting, Reading, and Learning

Why do you feel called to the Priesthood? I love working with people, and I love God and my Catholic faith. So, I feel God calling me to help people come to know Him through the Church as one of His priests. In addition, I feel God calling me to help people come to love the Catholic faith as I have, which is one of the ways in which I will be a fisher of men.

What advice would you give to a man considering the Priesthood? When discerning a vocation to the priesthood, it is important to remember that prayer and the sacraments are very important. A connection with Jesus is key. Frequent reception of the Eucharist at Mass and the sacrament of Reconciliation are very important for anyone discerning a vocation. These are prime examples of Christ’s mercy towards us, for mercy is an important characteristic all priests should have.

Justin Treon
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