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Meet Your Seminarians: Deacon Shea Kettner

Dcn. Kettner seeks to follow Jesus into the priesthood with “true humility”

by Editorial Team

Meet Dcn. Shea Kettner, a transitional deacon for the Diocese of Lansing (Home parish: Ss. Charles and Helena, Clio, MI), who will be ordained a priest later this year.

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

The highlight of my time at Sacred Heart Major Seminary is nothing extraordinary or spectacular. Honestly, it has been the slow and gradual growth of friendships over coffee or tea. I have found true brothers in the Lord here at Sacred Heart. I don't take that for granted because I know true and good Catholic friendships are hard to come by. On a lighter note, running the Martian Marathon (held in Dearborn) with 7 other brother seminarians was pretty awesome. It was a cold day in April (2022), but we had a good time.

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

One of my highlights of serving as a transitional deacon has been preaching for the first time at my home parish. It was Trinity Sunday on June 12th, 2022. I know God has a sense of humor having me preach on the Trinity for my very first homily. My pastor let me know I didn't preach any heresies, so that was good. All jokes aside, it was an incredible grace filled day. Honestly, I felt so much love from God and family. It was incredible. I had this clear sense that I was doing what I was created to do, and being who I was created to be.

How are you preparing for priestly ordination?

I am preparing for my priestly ordination with prayer. I remember the moment of my life in prayer when I felt the Lord calling me to be a priest. It brought so much peace and joy. There was an incredible desire to follow him and be a priest. Over the years, I have found the absolute necessity for prayer. Following Jesus is not easy, but it is a whole lot easier when we are praying. In my prayer, I ask Jesus for the grace to be not afraid. Feelings of unworthiness can arise quite frequently, but prayer helps me to face these fears. In prayer, I can hear Jesus on a daily basis say to me, "Follow me. Do not be afraid."

What kind of priest do you want to be?

Over the years of formation, I have been blessed to have gone on many different retreats. And this question has arisen again and again. My answer is simple: I want to be a humble priest. I desire to be a priest who knows who God is, who knows who others are, and to know who I am. I want to know how much I depend on God, that is totally and completely. And following Jesus into the priesthood is only made possible with true humility. By being a humble priest, I believe I will lead others to be the same. It seems that being humble is the way to true holiness.

What are you looking forward to after being ordained?

After ordination, I look forward to two particular ministries of the priest. First, it is the celebration of the Mass. I have been blessed to preach at Mass, but my heart desires to celebrate the Mass. I want to bring Jesus to the people of God in the Eucharist. There is no greater gift you could give someone. Secondly, I look forward to hearing Confessions. In my undergraduate, I was very interested in psychology. I thought about becoming a counselor. However, it was after a very powerful Confession I experienced a great reconciliation between God and me. What that priest did for me, I desired to do for others. Confession reconciles people to God. This is one of the most incredible realities. What a gift it is to be Catholic.

Please join us in praying for Deacon Shea Kettner 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.