Holy Name Roman Catholic Church

Listening to God's Whisper . . .






Thy Kingdom Come

Vocation Testimony

Br. Allan Wirfel, LC


The story of a vocation is more than just recalling dates and telling how I decided to enter the seminary and pursue the path to the priesthood.  Rather, it is an opportunity to share how God has worked in a very concrete and personal way in my life so that others may discover how He is working in their own lives. 

I grew up in Ebensburg, the youngest of eight kids, and five more adopted siblings.  Our house is only a block or so from Holy Name Church, which made it very natural to grow up close to the faith.  After attending Holy Name Elementary and Bishop Carroll High School I was blessed with the opportunity to study at Franciscan University of Steubenville finishing my bachelor’s degree in History in May of 2001.  During the years at Bishop Carroll and at Franciscan University I began to perceive that God was calling me to the priesthood.  However, it would take a couple of years until I understood what God was asking of me and also to receive the generosity to respond to His call.

In December of 2000 I was accepted to Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Nevertheless, the idea of priesthood was always on my mind, so I decided to take one year and in order to pray and discern God’s will in my life.  I volunteered to work one year as a co-worker with the Legionnaires of Christ and was sent to Dublin, Ireland to work as a Prefect of Discipline for Mexican students who go to Ireland to learn English.  Other than the rewarding aspects of working with young people, the most fruitful part of the year in Ireland was having the opportunity to form solid habits of prayer and to attend daily Mass.   It was just the opportunity God was looking for.  In the silence of prayer God was able to speak and I was able to listen more clearly, coming to the realization that in fact he was calling me to the priesthood.

I decided to enter the Legion of Christ in July of 2002.  After two years of Novitiate I professed the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in Sept. 2004.  Since then I have studied classical humanities and am currently in Rome studying in the Legionary University Regina Apostolorum, and finishing a degree in philosophy. 

The experience of the call to the priesthood is at once a gift and a mystery.  It is a mystery because if is founded on faith.  A young man who receives a call to the priesthood does not receive a phone call from God or an e-mail.  It is something that is believed in faith and with great conviction.  It is also a gift.  Once I realized and accepted the fact that God was calling me to the priesthood I began to understand that this is one of the most concrete manifestations of Christ’s personal love for me.  It is gift because every vocation, whether it be to the priesthood, consecrated life or married life is not just a way of life, but a personal path given by God that leads us to happiness and personal fulfillment.


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