Issac Siefker

  • Diocese/Religious Community Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Degrees Pursuing at Saint Meinrad

  • Master of Divinity

What attracted you to the priesthood?

I was first attracted to the priesthood as early in life as I can remember because of my parents’ devotion. I wanted to serve Mass as soon as I was able to and began to serve for my then pastor, Fr. Rick Eldred, at St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Church in Bedford, IN. I remember thinking how awesome it was that this man brought Jesus to us in the Eucharist. While serving Mass, I would have strong feelings of love and devotion which made me want to celebrate the Mass someday. I also saw Fr. Rick was a very happy person and someone I could see myself being like.


Who or what influenced you to begin studying for the priesthood?

Near the end of high school, I began to have second thoughts about the priesthood. I became nervous about celibacy, speaking in front of large audiences, and so forth. My older brother entered seminary for three semesters, and although he ultimately decided to get married and have a family, he was still able to help me realize that seminary is a place to discern and does not involve an immediate permanent commitment. So, I decided that seminary would be the right place to go in order to further explore my fears of and attractions toward the priesthood.


What were you doing before you came to the seminary?

I lived with my parents for two years after high school, working part-time for the Mother of the Redeemer Retreat Center and for neighbors, doing tree work, brush clearing, and miscellaneous groundskeeping. I was visiting religious communities, particularly with the thought of becoming a religious brother rather than a priest. I was also involved in various ministries, including pro-life work and St. Paul Street Evangelization.


Favorite saint and why?

One of my favorite saints is St. Anthony Mary Claret. Reading his autobiography and seeing his love for Jesus and Mary, and his zeal to preach the Gospel for the salvation of souls, inspired me to look past my fears to what God could do with my life if I were to give it all to Him.


Favorite Scripture verse and why?

Genesis 3:15, “Inimicitias ponam inter te et mulierem, et semen tuum et semen illius: ipsa conteret caput tuum.” “I will place enmity between you and the woman, and your seed and her seed: she will crush your head.” This verse has seen some variations in how it has been translated from the original Hebrew, and it deserves a very lengthy exploration to unpack all the meaning. One allegorical interpretation that is highlighted by the Vulgate translation is that Mary will be God’s instrument to crush the devil’s head.

When I made my total consecration to Mary according to the formula of St. Maximilian Kolbe, as taught to me by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, I became convinced that whatever I would do in life, God wanted me to do it all for and with Mary in order to play my small role in God’s big plan to thwart the serpent and his plot to steal souls from heaven. 



I love to chop firewood, which is no secret here at Saint Meinrad. I enjoy Ultimate Frisbee, weight lifting, any form of exercise or manual labor, studying languages, especially Latin and Spanish, and reading, especially about Scripture.


What aspect of seminary life has been most rewarding?

Socrates famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Seminary has invited me to examine my life and relationship with God, which has been very rewarding, both spiritually and otherwise.


What aspect of seminary life has been most challenging?

Coming out of my shell, my introverted nature’s comfort zone, and allowing the formation program, my fellow seminarians, life’s many adventures, and every other manifestation of God’s grace to help me to fully realize the capacity that God has given me to do good.


Best advice you've heard in seminary?

“Your knees should not become worn out from exercise or running, but from kneeling before the blessed sacrament,” Fr. Denis Robinson, OSB.