By Samantha Rohloff
Deacon Spenser St. Louis, who will be ordained into the priesthood on June 1, comes from the city of Fort Wayne. Having always been Catholic and grown up in a Catholic family, his grounding in the faith was derived from his parents and grandparents.
“My family always took the faith seriously and made it a priority to pray together each day; the rosary, novenas and prayer at meals and especially to attend Sunday Mass together,” he said. “I was always encouraged to pray about my vocation, being told that I would be the happiest in life doing what God wanted me to do.”
Deacon St. Louis has a wide educational background. An alumnus of Bishop Dwenger High School, he attended Maple Creek, Perry Hill and Oak View schools in the Northwest Allen County Schools system during his early years.
“I entered college seminary after graduating from Bishop Dwenger and was assigned to go to the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. I am completing my fourth year of five at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy, having studied at the Gregorian University for my Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree and the Angelicum University for my Licentiate of Sacred Theology degree,” he said.
He first heard the call to a vocation in elementary school, and again in middle school. He regularly spent time in eucharistic adoration and frequently attended weekday Mass. Being an altar boy greatly encouraged his interest in the Mass, too. “These experiences, coupled with an active family prayer life and reading the Bible, were the seedbed of my vocation.”
After much prayer and college seminary “Come and See” visits, by his senior year of high school Deacon St. Louis realized he indeed was being called to attend seminary.
He said he is sure of the path that God has for him. “Also as a part of preparation for holy orders we go on a retreat, and it was amazing to pray with the Rite of Ordination. We have been practicing the sacraments by working through the rites so that we will be able to know what we are doing when the time comes,” he said.
“I have had a great amount of joy and excitement, especially planning for my first Mass,” he shared. Some of the anticipated highlights of priestly ministry include, for him, “celebrating the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and reconciliation. The sacraments are the greatest area where a priest can aid the spirituality of others, and I’m excited to be a part of others’ lives in this way.”
He is especially eager for the ordination Mass itself. “A few things that I am most looking forward to are the Litany of Saints, receiving the paten and chalice from the bishop and the moment of the fraternal embrace from the priests,” he said. Deacon St. Louis also pointed out that because the Mass is only celebrated annually, and because it is liturgy unlike any other, “it is an amazing way to experience a Mass filled with symbolism, tradition and the beauty of the faith culminating in the Eucharist.”
Thinking of future priests, Deacon St. Louis recommended: “Pray for an increase in men’s hearts being open to the gift of the priesthood” and “pray for the holiness of our priests, deacons and seminarians.”
Enthusiastic and fluent regarding the call to the priesthood, he explained the imperative to constantly pray for those who are called to the duty of all that the priesthood entails.
“Our diocese will continue to have strong vocations by keeping our eyes focused on Christ, our hearts open to His words and our desire to continually grow closer to His merciful heart.”
The best news. Delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe to our mailing list today.