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Meet Your Seminarians: Deacon Jeremy Schupbach

Archdiocese of Detroit seminarian wants to be “animated by love for God and for His people” in his priesthood.

by Editorial Team

Meet Dcn. Jeremy Schupbach, a transitional deacon for the Archdiocese of Detroit (Home parish: St. Daniel, Clarkston, MI), who will be ordained a priest later this year.

What was the highlight of your time at Sacred Heart Major Seminary?

We have had so many formative experiences, and it is very hard to narrow it down, but probably the best of all was our 30-day retreat, making the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Not only was that a time of profound intimacy with God, but that was also when my sense of the Lord’s calling attained a new level of certitude. I walked away from the retreat with a new understanding of how deep one can go with the Lord in prayer, and a profound knowledge that not only was Jesus calling me to the priesthood, but that He wanted me. He desired the relationship with me that is unique to a life of priestly celibacy. And that understanding – of being wanted in that way by Jesus Himself – that was totally life-changing.

What has been one or two highlights of your time serving as a transitional deacon?

The first time I baptized someone was really crazy for me. I was praying afterwards, and as I sat before the Lord I couldn’t stop making the motion of pouring water with my hand, because I just couldn’t believe that when I made that simple little action, the Holy Spirit came and took up residence in those children’s hearts, and configured them for eternal life. It is just so wild that He would do that, and that it happened because of something so elementary that I, as the Church’s minister, did with my hand! 

Another powerful moment was after a homily I preached during September. I had been on break for a few weeks during the transition from the summer to the school year, and so I had not preached in a while. That break allowed me to re-enter into the newness of preaching, and re-discover that this ministry is part of who I am now. That was a powerful realization, and my new identity as a deacon sunk in a little bit deeper that day.

How are you preparing for your priestly ordination? 

The most significant preparation was a retreat that I made during Christmas break. During those eight days of silence I prayed for the Lord to allow me to experience the way that my identity would change through being ordained. The grace that I received in response was, in a word, that at ordination my heart, my very being, would become His in a new way, and that I needed to understand this as a foundational fact about myself. And then, by understanding and accepting this, I would naturally be led to live that out.

What kind of priest do you want to be?

A lover. I want to be a man who is animated by love for God and for His people. We all know people who are so passionate about a person, or a hobby, or an idea, that when they are around that person, or doing that activity, or talking about that idea, they come alive. Their actions become more organic and more free, they are totally engaged, and they aren’t even thinking about themselves because they are so focused on the thing they love. It is impossible not to be impressed by people like that. I want my priestly ministry to be like that. I want to say Mass, to hear confessions, to pray with people, to anoint the sick, etc. with that kind of love burning within me.

What are you looking forward to after being ordained?

I’m looking forward to saying Mass and hearing Confessions. It is impossible for it not to be that! I especially can’t wait to make the mercy of God the Father present through absolving sins in Confession. Every Confession is so private, but also has the potential to be a totally life-changing encounter, even though no one may ever know about it. How crazy is it that I could potentially be involved in moments like that on a regular basis? 

I also look forward to preaching more frequently. A priest once told me that when you are preaching almost daily, it changes you, you begin to feel as though there were a “living word” within you, a new willingness and ability to give verbal witness at any time to the love of God that dwells within. I hope and desire that I will be formed in that way by my preaching ministry.

Please join us in praying for Deacon Jeremy Schupbach during his final months of preparation leading up to his ordination.

by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.