Jake Nilles


My name is Jake Nilles. I was born on July 8, 1998 at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, IA. My parents are Dennis and Gina Nilles. I have spent my whole life growing up in Webster City, IA and attending Mass at my clustered parish of St. Thomas Aquinas in Webster City and St. Mary’s in the nearby town of Williams. I lived close enough to the Diocese of Sioux City that I have spent many Masses at Corpus Christi and Sacred Heart parishes in Fort Dodge also. I attended St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School up until 5 th grade, when, afterwards, I made the transition to the Webster City Public Schools. I graduated from Webster City High School on May 21, 2017 and entered St. Pius X Seminary on August 24, 2017. I hope to graduate from Loras College with a major in Philosophy and minor in Media Studies. I have been thinking about the possibility of priesthood for almost my whole life. Ever since I have been in elementary school, I have been thinking about priesthood as a way of living my life according to what God wills. It got to the point where I would hold fake Masses in my basement with a tablecloth, wine glasses, and Wonder bread. That thought of priesthood persisted until I left private Catholic school to enter into public school for the 6 th grade year, where the thought kind of retreated to the “back burner” for a few years. But, the thought of priesthood never entirely left my mind, and it made itself more viable when I started high school, when I was really questioning what I wanted to do with my life. I thought, I prayed, I discerned. Throughout all of high school, the idea of priesthood stirred inside my mind. I was beginning to convince myself through the power of prayer that God is calling me to discern priesthood. And, who am I to deny the words of God? So I contacted Fr. Schatz about discerning, got lots of support from family and friends, and I entered seminary my first year at Loras College. I really enjoy playing guitar and ukulele, and I was involved in speech and theatre. I not only did theatre at the high school level, I also did a lot of acting and backstage work at our local community theatre where they taught me the value of work and community. I cannot wait to see the path that God takes me in life. Whether it is ordination or a different direction, only God knows where He will take me!