My name is Joseph Sevcik, and I am a 1st Theologian for the Archdiocese of Dubuque. I was born September 24, 1991 in Waterloo, IA. I grew up with my parents, Joe and Lisa, and five siblings: David, Daniel, John Paul, Timothy, and Brenda. I graduated from Cedar Falls High School in 2010, and from Iowa State University in 2014 with a degree in Kinesiology and Health. Go Cyclones! I just finished Minor Seminary at Loras College in Dubuque and received a philosophy degree. What’s a Duhawk? Now I’m in 1st Theology at Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. It’s a great blessing to be here.
Q & A
What do you feel the role of the priest is?
Priests spread the love of God to the world. They are facilitators of God’s grace, not obstacles to it. They love their flock and shepherd it. Priests celebrate the sacraments, helping their people through the most important times in life. A priest brings Jesus Christ to the world.
What motivated your interest in the priesthood?
Through a period of many years, I discerned that God was calling me to the priesthood. It was a fire that slowly enflamed my heart. When I realized the call, there was nothing else that I could do. I had to respond to God’s call. All of my other desires, while still great things, seemed to pale in comparison to the priesthood. I fell in love with God and the Church. That love has only increased since I decided to pursue priesthood.
Further, I was born into a wonderful family who were great examples of the love of God. My priests growing up were good and faithful men. My experience in the Church was very positive. I was blessed to see the Church at her best. How could I not want other people to share those experiences? The priesthood is the way that God is calling me to share His love with as many people as I can. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
What advice would you give to a man considering the priesthood/seminary?
God loves us and desires the best for us. With that in mind, take intentional steps in your discernment. Don’t just sit and do nothing. Call Fr. Schatz and talk. Visit the seminary. You aren’t on this road alone. The Church is here to help you find your vocation. By taking small steps in certain directions, your vocation will become clearer. Be intentional. Do not fear.
Were you hesitant or nervous to take the first steps to enter the formation process?
Initially I was terrified. During my freshman year of college I had an internal battle where the thought of priesthood kept coming up. It took a long while before I began to talk to people about the possibility of me entering the priesthood. As I talked with people about it more, I began to feel more and more at peace with it (even though some of them didn’t think it was a good idea). It changed from something that I felt called to, to also something that I had a deep desire for. I began to see what a wonderful life the priesthood would be. As I took intentional steps to enter the formation process, I was filled with more and more peace. I’m happy to finally be in seminary.
Is there a model priest for you in your life?
I’ve been blessed with many model priests in my life. Each priest embodies a different face of Christ. Fr. Jon Seda, a priest at Iowa State University, really has shown me the human side of the priesthood. He has an uncanny ability to relate to so many different people. He’s authentic and exemplifies a lifestyle that shows an attractive priesthood. He shows how to live a happy, healthy, and moderately holy priesthood (that’s a joke, he’s a great priest).
Pope Francis is another wonderful example of a pastor to me. The joy in his face radiates the love of Christ. He captivates the world by being so filled with Jesus Christ. That is what a priest is supposed to be: he laughs, he smiles, he cries, and he loves his flock. Pope Francis is a good shepherd. May the grace of Lord Jesus be with all.