Blake Riffel

2021-22: Pre-Theology I
St. Pius X Seminary, Loras College, Dubuque, IA

Growing up, I had a strong desire to live a meaningful and purposeful life. For most of my life, that looked like becoming a  husband and father, staying engaged with parish life through a lifetime of discipleship, and pursuing a career in electrical engineering. 

Through many ups and downs and quite a few unexpected turns, the Lord started planting seeds in my heart - and scattering them through the lips of those around me - that perhaps He was calling me to reconsider of what I was previously so certain. For quite a while, I tried to satisfy that interior unrest through more and more engagement and ministry opportunities in the parish and across the diocese, job changes, the list goes on and on...

When I finally realized that I had been planning and scheming my own way through my vocation discernment without honestly inviting the Lord to shepherd me in this journey and was slowly opened to the idea that the Lord was calling me to seriously discern the priesthood, previously insurmountable walls in my heart started to be removed. 

The Lord has been exceptionally consoling on my vocation journey so far, and I am grateful for all the works that he continues in my heart and in my life. I am thankful for everyone's prayers thus far in my vocation discernment, and I am hopeful the Lord continues to call me to the priesthood to serve as an "alter Christus" for the people of the Diocese of Des Moines. Peace, blessings, and joy to you - and I will see you in the Eucharist.