Seminarians share their stories with Rowan students

Seminarians share their stories with Rowan students
Eric Goonan, standing among fellow seminarians Patrick Erdmann, Ryan Meehan and Peter Gallagher, leads Rowan University’s Catholic Campus Ministry students in a blessing on March 2 in Glassboro. The four men spoke with youth about their vocation and finding God’s calling for them. Photo by Alan M. Dumoff

Eric Goonan, standing among fellow seminarians Patrick Erdmann, Ryan Meehan and Peter Gallagher, leads Rowan University’s Catholic Campus Ministry students in a blessing on March 2 in Glassboro. The four men spoke with youth about their vocation and finding God’s calling for them.
Photo by Alan M. Dumoff

GLASSBORO — In front of Rowan University students here, 24-year-old seminarian Ryan Meehan shared his vocation story.

“Up until three years ago, my life was going the wrong way. I was deeply empty inside,” he said.

In discovering the Catholic faith, and through prayer, Meehan now finds himself “at peace” in this moment, and in his second semester of College Seminary at Seton Hall University’s Saint Andrew’s Hall in South Orange, N.J.

“I’m at peace, doing his will. I’m growing closer to the Lord and happy to do his will, rather than my own.”

Meehan, along with his seminary housemates Patrick Erdmann, 19; Peter Gallagher, 21; and Eric Goonan, 23, met with students at Rowan’s Catholic Campus Ministry Center on March 2 for dinner and a question-and-answer discussion on their desire to enter priestly formation and serve the Diocese of Camden.

When he was asked what he was most looking forward to as a priest, Gallagher, currently completing his fourth college year, gave the answer, “Accompanying people to an encounter with Christ.”

“To teach and preach the faith, and walk with someone as they grow in faith,” he added.

When discerning what vocation God is calling you to, be it married or priestly or religious life, first year college student Goonan urged students to “trust the Lord, and have an open will.”

Rowan’s Catholic Campus Ministry gathers every Wednesday night during the school year for faith and fellowship. This weekly occasion, along with other events, is consistent with the ministry’s goal to “help students find a community where they can realize their faith and draw closer to it, and encourage others in their journey,” said Rowan junior Kasey O’Leary, president of the ministry.

The seminarians’ visit, she said, helped the students see “what brought (the seminarians) to their vocations, and what is guiding them in their lives. We need to pray for them and their vocation, and pray for others to realize their own calling.”

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