Brian O’Connor attended Ohio State University for four years and studied in three areas: Environmental Science, Geology, and English. In high school, Brian was discerning a possible call to the priesthood, but his parents recommended that he attend college.
“The call did not go away in college,” said Brian. “In fact, my changing majors so often, helped me to focus on what really makes me happy and that led me to seminary.”
While in high school and college, Brian has been very active in youth ministry at Seton Parish. A friend in the parish gave Brian the Fishers of Men video about the priesthood and it touched his heart. When the video was played gain at the Seton Parish mission, he could see that God was calling him and he responded.
“Let’s just say that it didn’t surprise anyone when I told them that I was going to seminary to discern the priesthood,” said Brian. “And so far it has been really great.”
When asked about the difference between college and seminary, Brian explains it this way: “There is a giant shift. Everybody is nice and it is refreshing. I have just as much fun here—trying to be nice, good, and to succeed as I did in college. The difference is that I know that if I had trouble in a class, everyone would try to help me.”
He continues: “You are not in this by yourself. It is so positive and they take many steps, like mandatory study hours, to help you succeed.”
Another joy of seminary is access to the Sacraments.
“I am lucky to be able to go to Mass every day and to spend time with the Lord,” said Brian. “I love it here. And there is always something to do,” Brian told the interviewer as he was hiking in the woods behind college.
What is his advice to other men who are discerning? “If you really believe you are being called, go to seminary. You will not regret it. Find out if God is calling you and if he isn’t, you have gone to college and you can get on with your life. If you don’t try it, you will always wonder,” said Brian.
A benefit of seminary life is how much you learn about yourself, said Brian, and he does not regret his time at OSU. “Everybody’s story is different.” But for Brian, going to seminary was the next step in the discernment process for him.
Brian’s family is very supportive and he enjoys that his older brother works nearby the school and they can occasionally meet for dinner.
“I am very happy in seminary. God’s will should rule.”