Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Seminarian Strives To Live Out His Vocation With Joy And Love

Andy Hirsch
College Sophomore
Home Parish: Holy Cross, Fort Branch


Education and Formation

What schools or institutions have been part of your education?

I attended Holy Cross Elementary School, Fort Branch, for middle school and Gibson Southern High School. My seminary formation began last year at Bishop Simon Bruté, where I am a sophomore.

What’s next?

I expect to attend St. Meinrad School of Theology after graduating from Bruté.


Your Vocation

Who — or what — affirms you as a seminarian?

My parents have supported me and affirmed my vocation from day one. My pastor, Father Tony (Ernst), the vocation staff and various other priests from around the diocese have also provided affirmation.

What area of priestly ministry is most attractive?

The ministry of a pastor is the area of ordained priesthood that I find most alluring. The relationship a pastor has with his parish is a special one.

Looking ahead to life as a priest in the Diocese of Evansville, God willing, what are your thoughts on the importance of preaching?

Preaching is perhaps the most public aspect of diocesan priesthood and is probably the first thing one evaluates when they encounter a new priest. It is one of the many ways a pastor shares the Gospel of Christ.

What have you heard and seen about cluster parishes?

Cluster parishes are necessary fixtures in the diocese at this time. Being a member of one myself, I have seen firsthand how a cluster operates. It is not an ideal situation, but it is a required measure.


Your Future

What is the role of the priest in supporting vocations?

I can’t imagine pursuing a vocation to the priesthood or otherwise without support from priests, especially my pastor. The best way a priest does this is by living out his own vocation with joy and love.

What qualities do you think most people want to see in a diocesan priest?

A good diocesan priest is first and foremost a man of faith. Without a solid prayer life, it is impossible to lead others in the faith. A priest must also be approachable and available to the people he serves.