My name is Eric Zenisek. I was born in 1993 to Paul and June Zenisek. I am blessed with two older sisters and a brother-in-law. I spent my childhood and adolescence in Cedar Rapids Iowa. I had the privilege to graduate from the Cedar Rapids Xavier in 2011. After graduating from Xavier, I moved to Cedar Falls and attended the University of Northern Iowa pursuing a degree in Secondary Social Studies Education. After receiving my bachelor’s degree from UNI, I entered the St. Pius X Seminary program in fall of 2015.
Q & A
What do you feel the role of the priest is?
A priest is called to be everyone’s everything to the best of the priest’s ability. The role is constantly evolving to fit the needs of the society. Above all, priests are called to be an example of Christ in the world today.
What motivated your interest in the priesthood?
Many things motivated me to consider the priesthood. Around the Archdiocese, there are multiple examples of happy, healthy, and holy priests. Getting to know priests also helped peak my interest in the priesthood. Getting to know priests around the Cedar Rapids area helped me to eventually see myself in their shoes. Something else that peaked my interest in the priesthood is the joy exemplified by Pope Francis. The sheer joy on his face made me want the same joy.
What advice would you give to a man considering the priesthood/seminary?
The first piece of advice I would give to a man considering the priesthood is to be brave. In your prayers, ask God to help you be brave and ask Him to reveal His will to you. After you do this, make sure you’re able to hear the voice of God in your life. God’s will is for all of us to respond to the universal call to holiness. Ask Him which vocation will help you become a holy person. God isn’t going to call into anywhere He doesn’t think you could go!
Were you hesitant or nervous to take the first steps to enter the formation process?
Terrified! I was wondered what my friends, family, and fellow teachers would think. I was also worried I would miss teaching too much. One of the things that really helped me was the quote, “God can’t drive a parked car, move!” You can only do so much discerning before you take a leap of faith. If you’re hesitant to listen to God’s call just remember, God isn’t going ask you to go anywhere He doesn’t want you to go. God only calls us to himself. If you feel as if God wants you to consider the priesthood, trust Him!
Is there a model priest for you in your life?
It’s difficult to pick a single priest! I look up to 5 priests in the Cedar Rapids/Cedar Falls area. The two priests that helped me most during my discernment process are Fr. Ken Glaser and Fr. David O’Connor. I look up to both these men. If I am ordained someday (God willing), I hope I have a similar style to Fr. Glaser and Fr. O’Connor. I thank God for both these outstanding individuals.