Zach Daly

Luke Miksanek

2019-20: Pre-Theology I
St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, MN


I was born in Chicago but raised in Rochester, Minnesota, where I began violin lessons at the age of five. The idea of becoming a priest first entered my head in late high school, but I paid little attention to it: So much of my life experience had been steering me in the direction of music exclusively, so changing course seemed like too much effort. Hence, I proceeded to earn Bachelor and Master of Music degrees and was fortunate to win a contract with the Des Moines Symphony beginning in fall 2016.

But the idea of becoming a priest never ceased to surface. In fact, having effectively "made it" as a professional musician, my sense of rest career-wise put into even greater relief my sense of unrest vocation-wise. After making myself known to Father Ross Parker, director of the vocations office, and after many months of focused prayer and spiritual reading, I began my formal application as a candidate for the priesthood in February 2019 and was accepted at the end of the summer.

One lesson I have learned on my discernment adventure thus far is that following the will of God does not require as much effort as I previously believed. The important thing is to aim our feeble effort in the right direction: towards God. He meets us more than halfway! Just consider the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32, esp. v. 20) and the very person of Jesus Christ, by whose humble sacrifice the whole human race, incapable of saving itself, may be saved.