Collin van Waardenburg
School: Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary
Home Parish: All Saints
Tell us about your family.
I am the youngest of three children, with one sister and one brother. I am also the uncle of two beloved nieces. My father is a sheet metal worker and my parish’s handyman, while my mother is a teacher-turned-homemaker-turned-nursing student. I can happily say that each member of my family has contributed in their own way to my own discernment.
Where are you from, and what is your home parish?
My family and I live in San Pierre, IN, a matter of yards away from my home parish, All Saints Church. However, I also frequent, and help out around our sister parish, Ss. Cyril & Methodius, in North Judson.
What is it that draws you to the possibility of priesthood?
I am drawn most to the possibility of priesthood by the life of total imitation of Jesus Christ, from the life of chastity and celibacy to the life of sacrifice, all on behalf of the People of God. I often think of the sacerdotal witness of the priests of the Old Testament who would enter into the Temple, into the Holy of Holies, where no one else could enter. Yet, this was not because of elitism, but because they were charged to be pure, and to offer sacrifice, not just for themselves, but to God and for the people. So too, the priest is specially charged with dispensing the Sacraments that God has instituted, in His love, for the holy Church. I possess a strong desire to be that sacramental conduit of God’s bleeding Heart for His people.
Who are some of your role models?
Some of my key role models are my confirmation saint, John Paul II, St. Isaac Jogues, St. Augustine, St. James the Lesser, St. Francis Xavier, St. Josemaria Escriva, and St. Anthony of Padua. Of course, our Lady, the Blessed Mother has also had a profound impact on my own discernment, through her “Fiat,” and I have also found great inspiration from my pastor, and previous pastors, my parents, and my brother seminarians, both in and outside of the Diocese of Gary.
What is your favorite Scripture passage?
I have a particular love for the Gospel according to St. John, and a particular verse that has struck me recently is John 17:22, “As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” I am always struck when the Gospel accounts tell us of Jesus’s personal prayers, such as the Agony in Gethsemane, or this prayer for the believers, or even the Our Father. Each one of these instances shows a personal, simple, and intimate relationship between the Son and His Father. This has always shown me the necessity of a truly personal prayer, in which an authentic relationship is developed with the fullness of the Trinity.