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Meet Your Seminarians: Jeremy Schupbach

Learn how Jeremy Schupbach’s formation process of going towards the priesthood transformed his perspective on giving his yes to God

by Editorial Team

By Jeremy Schupbach

I can’t quite say that I have wanted to be a priest my whole life because I can remember a time when I didn’t. But something changed when my family started attending a new school, Everest Academy, run by the Legionaries of Christ. There was something about the priests who ran that school that inspired me. They were always joyful, funny, and clearly very holy, and I thought they were the coolest guys in the whole world. By the time I was six, it was clear in my head—I wanted to be a priest just like them.

In high school though, I began to question that decision that had come so easily to my more youthful self. I was weighed down by the fear that I didn’t have what it took to make the right choice. After several months of asking God to help, there was a moment of great peace where I felt as if he said, “If you want to say yes, you have everything you need.” He spoke into my greatest fear and offered me, not a command, but an invitation. After weighing my options for a few moments and working up the courage, I leaped and gave the Lord my yes.

Though I had given God my yes, I still needed some attitude adjustment. I remember telling God, “This isn’t necessarily what I want for myself, but I will do it for you.” God wasted no time tuning that up. Shortly thereafter, I got a new theology teacher who opened my eyes to the beauty of the church’s long theological tradition. The more I learned about my faith, the more I desired to know and the more I desired to share that knowledge. These were two desires that God placed in my heart which began to make me think, “There may be more that is desirable about the priesthood than I previously thought.”

Another desire that God planted in my heart was a desire for prayer. After a week-long summer retreat, I committed myself to a habit of daily prayer. After several months of fairly dry prayer, I grew more attuned to the Lord’s way of making himself present in our hearts, and I began to experience ever-increasing peace and joy from those prayerful encounters.

I chose not to enter seminary right out of high school. Rather, I went to the Franciscan University of Steubenville and got a degree in philosophy. My college years were a blessed time where God expanded those desires in my heart to encounter him through prayer and study, and he also surrounded me with incredible friends who were seeking the same things. I felt like the Lord was doing so many good things for me that it was impossible not to love him back. After graduating in 2017, I entered seminary for the Archdiocese of Detroit and began to attend Sacred Heart Major Seminary. Here I was making the first concrete steps toward the priesthood and it felt surreal!

My four-and-a-half years at seminary have been very different from my previous journey. On the one hand, God has deepened the joy that I knew from encountering him in prayer, especially through things like our thirty-day silent retreat. But on the other hand, I have had to grow a lot! I needed to let go of many of the creature comforts my will was attenuated to, and above all, I needed to let the Lord lead me beyond my limited conceptions of who he wants me to be. That process has involved a lot of humiliation and struggle, and I am still very much learning.  

As I look back at all this, I cannot help but be struck by one dominant fact: I may have felt, at different points that I was doing a lot to “make this priesthood thing happen,” but in retrospect, it has all been God. Every little desire, impulse, and decision that has brought me to this point was put there by him, nourished by him, and protected by him when I tried to resist. Jesus’s words from John 15:16 ring so true for me, “It was not you who chose me but I who chose you.” This process has never been about me and what I can do for Jesus, it is entirely about Jesus singling me out because of his love for me. And even though I am still growing and learning, that is what gives me the confidence to continue on this path as I get closer and closer to 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.