Aaron Wessman-Seminarian

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 After completing his third year of theology studies in May 2011 at St. Meinrad Seminary (Ind.), Aaron Wessman's summer schedule has been very full and the changes have been profound ones. He professed his Final Oath on Saturday, May 28. This marked the last stage of his journey on the road to Glenmary priesthood. In addition, he celebrated his transitional diaconate ordination in June, prior to beginning his final year in the seminary in the fall.

After completing his second year at St. Meinrad in 2010, he spent the summer in New York focusing on clinical pastoral education (CPE)—before returning for his third year of theology studies.

In addition to his class work in the second year, Aaron was elected to the seminarian council as class representative. His goal was to balance schoolwork, prayer life and camaraderie with his classmates.

Most classmates are men studying for the diocesan priesthood; they learned that Aaron and fellow Glenmarian Cris Adongo are studying for missionary priesthood with Glenmary. The seminarians' understanding of Aaron and Cris' home mission ministry increased on a St. Meinrad Formation Day, when Fathers Dan Dorsey, Jerry Dorn and Mike Kerin made a presentation about Glenmary's charism and the theology of mission.

Aaron says he has formed solid relationships with his classmates. They discuss the differences between the diocesan and missionary priesthoods and even feel comfortable joking about which group works harder!

Aaron spent the summer of 2009 in an internship focused on ecumenism. He studied the topic for three weeks under the direction of Glenmary Father Frank Ruff. After completing his reading, Aaron spent several more weeks visiting pastors of various faith traditions and attending Sunday and Wednesday services, Bible study groups and Vacation Bible School programs.

He found that the experience and knowledge he gained during his internship helped him with his classroom work, giving him greater insight into questions and increasing his knowledge of appropriate language and terminology to use in talking or writing about other Christian denominations.

Aaron says he feels continually affirmed in his call to mission life. "I love the excitement, the adventure, the diversity and the newness," he says. "I continue to experience an appreciation for the Catholic Church, her history and what she has to offer. That's humbling and exciting at the same time."

Aaron graduated from St. John's University, Collegeville, Minn., with a degree in mathematics. He is one of three children. His friendship with Father Jerry Dorn helped him choose priesthood and Glenmary. Aaron has played in a Christian band and, prior to coming to Glenmary, worked as the youth minister for the Lutheran church in his hometown of Cokato, Minn. 

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