My name is Louis Kuchar (koo-har) and I was born in Boise, ID on November 26, 1999. I was born to a very Catholic family and am one of nine children. My parents took their responsibility to raise us in the faith very seriously. They taught me so much about the Catholic Church, but the most important thing that they taught me was how to love the Faith and to love Jesus.
I have a very strong devotion to Pope St. John Paul II and I believe that he has and will continue to play a big part in my life. This relationship I have with him started on a trip my family took to Rome in 2000 for the closing of the Jubilee Doors when I was just over a year old. Long story short, my mom happened to be holding me in the right place at the right time while the popemobile was driving by and JP II took me into his arms and kissed me on the forehead. Since his death there have been many times when I felt that Pope St. John Paul II has been near to me helping me along the way.
I was homeschooled all the way up until 7th grade when I went to a high-school seminary in New Hampshire run by a religious order. It was during the four years I spent in New Hampshire that I really began to cultivate a relationship with God, one that was personal and meaningful to me. I knew he loved me and I did my best to love Him. After my fourth year there I discerned that God was calling me to come back home. I finished my sophomore year of high school there and then came home to Iowa, since my parents had moved while I was away at school.
Shortly after that came the question about the priesthood. Every time I would think about getting married the thought of the priesthood would always come rushing into my mind. This scared me. The possibility of the priesthood had always been there for me, but only in theory. Now that I was faced with the Call, I ran from it. I did not want to be a priest. I really wanted to get married.
I tried to stifle the thought of the priesthood for a year and a half. I finally got to the point where I could not run anymore. This happened in Washington DC when I went to the March for Life in January of last year. The March itself was amazing, but the moment that I will never forget happened in the museum of Pope St. John Paul II the day after the March. In the museum there was a little auditorium where they were playing a documentary of JP II’s life. I sat down to watch and did not last three minutes before I could not contain myself anymore. The beauty of JP II’s life of love was so moving to me that it was impossible for me to resist any more. Through John Paul II’s life I saw what God could do when a soul is docile to His Will. In that very short amount of time I saw very clearly what was being asked of me and that I only needed to trust. I cried my eyes out for a good ten minutes. In my heart I said to Him, “Lord, I will not run from you anymore. But you have to show me the way.”
When I got back to Iowa, I began speaking with Fr. Nick March who was the vocation director at the time. I started the application process and was accepted into the seminary for the Archdiocese of Dubuque. I began my first year studying at Loras College last fall and have been having one of the best years of my life.
There is no doubt in my mind that God has been leading me my whole life to where I am now and that he will continue leading me deeper and deeper into His love.