My name is Jacob Dunne and I am attending St. Pius X Seminary at Loras College in Dubuque. I was born in 1992 to my parents Dave and Carol. I was raised in Cedar Rapids with my two younger brothers Seth and Nick who both attend the University of Iowa, and attended Kennedy High School and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Hiawatha. After High School I studied History and Political Science at Iowa State University with the intention to be a high school teacher before deciding to enter the seminary.
Q & A
Where and when did your sense of call develop?
My call developed in my later years of high school and began to grow and take shape in college. The best role models in my life, particularly my grandmother Laverne Dunne, instilled in me a desire to live a prayerful and meaningful life and that desire is the root of my call. In college as my personal relationship with Jesus Christ grew, through different experiences and maturity, the calling to the priesthood grew and became something that I had to respond to, and I did that after I graduated from Iowa State in 2014.
What advice would you give to a man considering the priesthood/seminary?
Explore the blessings that you have been given. What kind of gifts has God given you? Learn about the different vocations including priesthood and marriage and then look to see where your skills and yearnings are compatible. Mostly pray about it, as you speak with Jesus he will let you know where he is calling you.
Were you hesitant or nervous to take the first steps to enter the formation process?
I was extremely anxious about talking to people about the priesthood. I didn’t think my friends would support me and I wasn’t sure how my family would take it. For years I pushed it away and didn’t deal with it but it persisted as an itch in the back of my mind, and sometimes the front of my mind. After a lot of spiritual growth I finally got the courage to pursue it and talk to a priest about what I had been thinking, and I found a lot of relief in that and also great guidance. Fr. Jon Seda focused on making sure that I was discerning the priesthood well which eased a lot of my nerves.
What do you feel the role of the priest is?
I think that the role of the priest is to bring people to Jesus through the sacraments and through their guidance and preaching. The key, I think, is that a priest loves people and speaks to their deepest desires, especially the deep desire we all have for the Gospel and for the Eucharist.
Were you invited by others to enter seminary?
I was not. I’m not sure what I would have done if I was or if that would have changed anything but I’m so happy that I made the decision to enter seminary. My call was mostly based internally, but throughout the process of applying and discerning the priesthood I got affirmation from family and priests which was really important for my deciding to enter.