Bishop Gruss accepts four new seminarians, doubling number across diocese

SAGINAW, MICH. - The Most Rev. Robert D. Gruss, Bishop of Saginaw, is thrilled to announce that four men have been accepted as seminarians for the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, doubling the number of  seminarians in the diocese. These men will spend the next six to nine years discerning a priestly vocation while studying at several seminaries across the country.

The new seminarians include:

  • Daniel Christe, 41 years old, Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish in Bay City. He will study at Sacred Heart Seminary in Wis. this fall.
  • Joshua High, 27 years old, currently at St. Brigid of Kildare Parish in Midland. He will study at Sacred Heart Seminary in Mich. this fall.
  • Jan Szwajnos, 31 years old, from Zakopane, Poland. He has been studying at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Seminary in Mich., and will spend a pastoral year in the Diocese of Saginaw.  
  • Charles Warner, 29 years old, from St. John Vianney Parish in Saginaw. He will study at Sacred Heart Seminary in Mich. this fall.
Daniel Christe
Joshua High
Jan Szwajnos
Charles Warner

The process of being accepted as a seminarian is a rigorous one. The initial discernment begins with a conversation and regular contact with the diocesan vocation director and/or one's parish priest. Following review of one's calling and desire to pursue a priestly vocation, spiritual history, educational background and abilities, one begins the application process. The application itself is extensive. Letters of recommendation are required. Applicants must submit to a physical and psychological evaluation and a criminal background check, they must attend safe environment training and be reviewed by a diocesan vocation committee. If recommended by the committee, the candidate meets with the Bishop who reviews all materials and decides whether or not the candidate will be accepted. Upon acceptance to the diocese as a seminarian, the candidate begins the process of applying to seminary. Throughout the next six to nine years, seminary education and formation takes place. There are continuous evaluations related to a candidate's spiritual, personal and educational development. Annual recommendations to continue in formation are made by the seminary and reaffirmed by the diocese up until ordination to the priesthood.

“It is important for people to know the extensive formation and evaluations by the diocese and seminaries, along with the determined commitment behind each priesthood candidate,” said Father Bill Rutkowski, vicar general and director of seminarians. “Our seminarians and newly ordained priests have a lot more behind them than most people realize." 

Please continue to pray for all of our seminarians, including: Matthew Gembrowski, who is in theology year 2 of study at Mundelein Seminary in Ill. Jacob Hugo, who is in theology year 1 of study at Mundelein Seminary in Ill. John Sira who is in college studies year 4 of study at Sacred Heart Seminary in Mich. and Deacon Kevin Wojciechowski, who is in his last year of study and priestly formation at Sacred Heart Seminary in Mich. 

In addition to your prayers, you can also support seminarian education and vocations through participation in the upcoming Bishop’s Charity Golf Classic. All are invited to join Bishop Gruss during this event which celebrates vocations to the priesthood and raises funds for the education of future priests. All proceeds from the event go to support seminarians and vocation efforts in the Diocese of Saginaw. Click here for details.

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