Casey Flack

Hello, my name is Casey Flack. I was born September 24th, 1994 to my parents Karen and Brad Flack in Moline, Illinois. I have three brothers, two younger and one older, along with a half-sister and brother. I attended Alleman Catholic High School in Rock Island, Illinois and afterward studied Philosophy and Business at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Following my graduation from Loras I began graduate studies at St. John’s University in Queens, New York. I am currently a pre-theology student at Loras College.

Q&A

Where and when did your sense of call develop?

My call toward the priesthood has certainly been more winding than I would have like! In high school, I had thought about it from time to time, but never really took it seriously until I went to Loras. It was there that I found out just how much the things I loved doing were the ministries of the priest. In seeing their joyous example I was able to open more gradually to the call. As I began to enter more deeply into ministries at Mass, to the poor, the homeless, elderly, and in teaching, I was given more and more life, even as they physically exhausted me. It was in graduate school that I had the distance and perspective to realize fully that in providing these ministries that I encountered Christ and brought Him to others. The answer for me was to enter more fully into that call.

What do you feel the role of the priest is?

The priest is meant to love. Just as we are all called to love, the priest has a specific and beautiful task of bearing God’s love in the sacraments and in his ministry. For me, the priest does this by imitating Jesus, namely by taking to heart the beatitudes. In this way the priest encounters God’s people in a special way by embracing them with the fullness of God’s love, being a symbol of hope and a messenger of peace in their daily life.

What motivated your interest in the priesthood?

To see a priest live his vocation with joy was definitely a large part of my discernment. Throughout my life, I have been blessed to know numerous priests, some close friends and others not, who hold a deep love for Christ. It was through witness of this love, and their willingness to share it with me that I saw the priesthood as a desirable life.

What advice would you give to a man considering the priesthood/seminary?

Visit the seminary and talk to somebody about your thoughts, and most importantly pray! You cannot really discern something if you do not know it, so visiting the seminary is important. My being at Loras for my undergraduate helped me to come to know the seminary and the process making it much less intimidating. Talking to somebody else about your thoughts, feelings, and prayers when it comes to discernment is hugely important. It can bring a real change to vocalize what you’re experiencing, and it helped me to understand my experience from an outside perspective. I’d highly recommend talking to a priest about their vocation, sharing your own journey with him, and perhaps some spiritual direction. Finally, prayer. Without a firm relationship with God you just cannot understand clearly what you are being called to. Establishing regular mass attendance and daily prayer helped me to recognize the joy I found in one of the most crucial ministries of the priest: prayer for the Church.

Were you hesitant or nervous to take the first steps to enter the formation process?

Yes. I was at Loras for four years and it took leaving and studying for three months in Europe before I could honestly commit myself to the formation process. As I began the official process of applying I grew in peace and confidence however. Entering into the seminary proper gifted me with a joy that I am blessed to have. While I am not free totally of worldly anxieties, I have none that I cannot entrust to God with the sure promise that He cares for me. Entering the seminary was, and is, and act of trust in the promise that by offering my life to God it will be returned to me in even more fullness.