Finnegan’s Discernment Journal


My name is Finnegan Ritter, I’ve been a member of St. John XXIII Parish for the last couple of years, and I am now a proud Seminarian for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Much can be said about vocations to the Priesthood; however, I feel that today God is calling me to simply share a reflection on the journey he’s taken me on so far.

I wasn’t always open to the Priesthood; in fact, it was one of the last things I thought I wanted for my life.

During high school, the Holy Spirit called me to a deeper faith and relationship with God. My prayer life and learning about Catholicism expanded, but I was uncertain as to what career path I wanted to pursue.

Trying to plan my future was difficult because all my career ideas felt unfulfilling, something was missing from them. God gently tugged at my heart, leading me to seriously consider his Priesthood for the first time in my life. I contemplated the role of a parish Priest as pastor of God’s flock. He comforts, guides, teaches, encourages, consoles, and leads his people to true happiness by the grace of Jesus Christ. There it was. In imagining this life devoted wholly to caring for the people of
God, I experienced fulfillment, joy, and peace.

Still, due to the hardness of my heart and my human brokenness, I resisted. It’s not easy to intentionally choose a life of material simplicity, chaste celibacy, and obedience to your Bishop.
Thankfully, God knows where we’re at and meets us there.

I was surprised to receive a random email from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s vocation director about setting up a meeting. I didn’t have the heart to excuse my way out of it, so I went. It gave me a greater sense of what the Priestly vocation truly is, helping me to follow more willingly the path I believed Christ had laid out for me. With the help of my vocation director, seminarians, and the prayers of others, I applied and was accepted as a seminarian.

I’ve been at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary (Winona, MN) for almost two months. My union with God has never been closer and I am more hopeful than ever about the plan God has for all of us in his Kingdom.

The people of SJ23 parish will remain in my prayers. Jesus, we trust in you!

Letters of encouragement can be sent to St. John XXIII Parish office and we will forward them to Finnegan.