Witness of family congress participants provided inspiration

| May 23, 2013 | 0 Comments

StueveDeacon Andrew Stueve

Age: 40

Hometown: Hanover

Home parish: Mary Queen of Peace, Rogers

Parents: Bernard and Kay Stueve

Education: B.A. in Catholic Studies, minor in philosophy at the University of St. Thomas; associate degree in accounting at Hennepin Technical College

Teaching parish: Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Maplewood

Pastoral learning experiences: Various experiences through the teaching parish

Hobbies: Family genealogy, history, listening to various music of the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, watching movies of ’40s, ’50s and ’60s

Favorite book: “He Leadeth Me” by Father Walter Ciszek

Favorite movie: “Meet Me in St. Louis”

Person you most admire and why: My parents for their unfailing love and support of me and the rest of my family

Thanksgiving Masses: 2 p.m. May 26 at Mary Queen of Peace (St. Walburga Campus) in Rogers; 10:30 a.m. June 9 at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Maplewood

What led to your looking seriously into the priesthood?
I attribute it to various reasons: I have always gone to Sunday Mass, including the time when many young adults stop going; being relatively open to God guiding my years after high school (i.e. post-high school education, 10-year career as an accountant, four-year home owner); and my Catholic faith being affirmed and not ridiculed in the home.

For three consecutive years beginning in 2001, I attended the Fatima Family Congress in Alexandria, S.D. It was led by now-deceased Father Robert Fox of the Diocese of Sioux Falls and held annually over one weekend in the month of June.

I was experiencing much joy with the Catholic faith, for there were many families, religious sisters, priests, etc., present. It was largely their witness to the faith that inspired me to, for the first time, pray about the priesthood. I did this during my final year at the congress.

What were you doing before you entered the seminary?
After graduating from Buffalo High School in 1991, I enrolled in the accounting program at Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park and graduated in 1994 with an associate’s degree in accounting.
From 1994 to 1995, I worked for several temporary accounting agencies, and from 1995 to 2004 I worked as an accountant at Dura Supreme in Howard Lake. From 2000 to 2004, I owned a townhouse in Montrose.

Were there any reasons why you had not considered the priesthood earlier in your life?
Despite the fact I served as an altar server for about 10 years, and attended Sunday Mass all my life, I never considered for myself the possibility of becoming a priest. And for that matter, I was never discouraged implicitly or explicitly from considering such a calling.

What people and/or experiences were instrumental in identifying and developing your vocation?
The initial experience was at the Fatima Family Congress. For the next year, until I enrolled at the St. John Vianney College Seminary, I consulted several people.

They included my family, Father Timothy Cloutier and Father Mark Moriarty. In addition, I also have many friendships with other people who have helped me as well. The prayers and support of all these people have proven to be a great blessing.

What excites you most about becoming a priest?
Being with the people, and being able to bring them to the sacraments.

How would you like to answer the call to evangelization in your priestly ministry?
The foundation of being with the people, the foundation of having the desire to bring the sacraments to the people is the constant need for an interior conversion of heart. Manifested in the spousal relationship of a priest to Jesus Christ, it includes obedience and fidelity to one’s bishop, fidelity to the Liturgy of the Hours, fidelity to daily prayer, fidelity to Scripture study.

What encouragement and/or advice do you have for young men who may be considering the priesthood?
Allow the Holy Spirit to open their hearts to the work of grace, and know saying yes to this calling will bring about the greatest sense of freedom in the lives of those who are being called to the priesthood.

Anything else to add?
The first and only Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Walburga was on October 4, 1927. I am humbled to be the second (at 2 p.m. May 26). St. Walburga goes back to 1857!  That priest was Father Robert Russell (1901-1986). He and his family are buried in the cemetery across the street from the church.

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Category: Ordinations