Kyle Tietz

 

Biography

My name is Kyle Tietz and I was born in Cedar Rapids in February of 1993. My parents are Joyce and Randy Tietz and I have one younger brother Alex. I grew up in Cedar Rapids as a member of St. Pius X parish. I was a part of the Catholic School system: St. Pius Elementary, Regis Middle School, and Xavier High School. After high school I attended Iowa State and graduated in 2015 with a degree in Computer Engineering. I had been discerning seminary during my final years at Iowa State and entered St. Pius X Seminary for the Archdiocese of Dubuque this past year. I am in my second year of Pre-Theology studies at Loras College in Dubuque.

 

Q&A

What motivated your interest in the priesthood?

Growing up, I had always been involved at church with Mass and parish activities. Going to Mass on the weekend was a family affair, and this routine developed into a great sense of comfort with both my home parish St. Pius X and the larger Church. There were priests in my life all the way through high school and into college. I saw their witness to the faith and got to know many of them personally; this set the stage for me to consider pursuing the priesthood.

 

Where and when did your sense of call develop?

I was first asked to consider the priesthood toward the end of high school. At that time, I really didn’t know anything about seminary or what a priest did outside of Mass. I put the idea in the back of my mind and started college at Iowa State. I was pretty stagnant in my faith during my first few years of college, but this time helped me grow and gain independence. More importantly, I started looking at the long-term plan for my life and asked myself what was really important to me. Around this time, I was invited to join a priesthood discernment group and was amazed to find so many guys that were asking themselves the same questions. This group helped me learn more about seminary and the priesthood and made me responsible for continually seeking out God’s call in my life.

 

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

Yes. I spent a lot of time battling between entering seminary and starting a career after graduating from Iowa State. I had a difficult time deciding if my feelings one way or another were my own will or God’s will. On some days I was eager to apply to seminary, and on others I was questioning how that could be the right path for me. The solution was for me to seek the advice of others and to bring all my struggles to Jesus in prayer, particularly through Eucharistic Adoration. I learned that joining seminary did not mean I was immediately ‘locked in’ to the priesthood and that it was a time to intentionally discern God’s call. I took the leap of faith, applied for seminary, and found in myself a great sense of peace.

 

Have you come across any unexpected challenges in your seminary experience? Pleasant surprises?

With only a few weeks of experience in seminary, I can say that things are wonderful. The greatest challenge has been finding the balance between classes, prayer at the Vianney House, personal prayer, reading, exercise, community with my fellow seminarian brothers, and reaching out to others in the community. But this challenge brings opportunity to grow and set priorities in my life. The best surprise that I’ve experienced so far has been the incredible power of the seminarian community. Knowing that we are all seeking out God’s call in our lives and helping each other to grow in faith and character is truly a blessing. We are graced with two wonderful priests to aid in our formation as well as the Archbishop.

 

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

Do not be afraid to explore God’s call for you! Take active steps to learn more about the priesthood and if God is calling you. Join a discernment group, pray intentionally to know your vocation, and make it your priority. And remember that the purpose of seminary is ongoing discernment and formation for the priesthood. There’s no better place to fully discern than in seminary. Stay close to Christ and let his love pour into you.