A Mass will be offered this evening in Rome by Fr. Denis Ssenkasi for all seminarians so that they will grow in holiness and lead us all in love. Every month, we have a Mass offered for this intention. As our seminarians will be the future shepherds and our children are their future flock, it is a beautiful way for the children to help. As we mentioned last month, it is our goal in 2024 to feature a different seminarian on the first of the month every month by inviting him to share his vocation story and give all our readers the opportunity to pray for him. This month, we are featuring Brendan Finnegan, a seminarian from South Windsor, Connecticut, USA.
My name is Brendan Finnegan, and I am twenty-five years old and in my third year of priestly formation for the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut. I grew up in South Windsor, Connecticut, in a loving family. I entered seminary formation for the Hartford Archdiocese in August of 2021 and completed my philosophy studies at the Saint Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. I am currently enrolled at the Pontifical North American College and the Pontifical Gregorian University, both in Rome.
My journey to the priestly formation started around the time of my Confirmation when I was 15 years old. I had been enrolled in religious education since I was a young boy, and as Confirmation approached, my soul yearned to understand exactly what I was being confirmed into. The grace deeded to me during my Confirmation brought the idea of diocesan priesthood to mind for the first time. Though a hunger to learn more about our faith remained during my high-school years, the Lord’s call to priesthood started to get clouded out by other desires and aspirations that I possessed. During my undergraduate years at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, my focus was on laying the groundwork for a successful business career and enjoying a “normal college life." However, through semi-frequent participation in daily Mass and getting to spend time with many holy, zealous, and joyful priests of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, the sense that God was calling me to emulate those priests, whom I so admired, would not go away, even while I was dating in the long-term pursuit of matrimony. Reflecting, my “yes” to the priesthood started a few years into college when I was at a conference with a consortium of international college students being mentored by high-level leaders. During that weekend, what kept coming to mind was that the only way to “build the future” like we were discussing was through Jesus and his Church. The Lord made it clear to me that the fruit I would bear would not be of this world but instead be directed toward the salvation of souls by offering the Sacraments of the Church. A year later, the Covid-19 pandemic gave me the space and silence to better ask the question, “What should I do with my life, Lord?” His answer was clear, “Come follow me, and I will make you a fisher of men” (Mt 4:19). From there, it was a quick process of accepting the Lord’s will for my life and starting priestly formation for the Archdiocese of Hartford.
I am greatly looking forward to preaching God’s word to the future flocks with whom I am entrusted. St. John reminds us that the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). As a future preacher, I hope to unpack the divine Word into human language that makes the hearers of my preaching become emboldened to accept that the coming of God in the flesh is the crux of human history and the core of their own being. Please continue to pray for me as I continue my formation, and continually ask our Blessed Mother to send us a new generation of priests modeled unto her own Immaculate Heart.
We humbly ask that you please keep Brendan Finnegan in your prayers.