Carl BaumannPropaedeutic Stage
Mount Saint Mary's Seminary
I was born and raised in Chantilly, Virginia and attended St. Timothy Catholic School through the 8th grade. In high school, my dream of being a professional pilot led me to Liberty University where a healthy dosage of Evangelical Christianity, a desire to find deeper meaning in life, and a chronic health condition would ultimately lead me to a deeper exploration of my belief in God, Jesus Christ, and the teachings of the Catholic Church.
During my first year at Liberty, the local priest asked me if I’d ever considered becoming a priest. From that point on, the question would gently resurface anytime I pursued regular prayer or a deeper dive into the Catholic Faith. On one specific occasion, I decided to pray in the Blessed Sacrament chapel after Mass. As I sat in silence, a thought popped into my mind: “I want you to be a priest.” I was horrified but couldn’t shake the thought without leaving the chapel. For the next couple years, I continued attending Sunday Mass while keeping God at arm’s length.
A little under three years ago, a battle with chronic health symptoms gradually chipped away at the walls which previously shielded any degree of trust in divine providence. As I started leaning on God for the first time, he graciously led me into a deeper conversion which began to uncover a deeply rooted desire for the priesthood.
Since then, I’ve been on an exciting faith journey. A year ago, I quit my job as a flight instructor to complete a one-year parish internship assignment with 6 months at Holy Cross in Lynchburg followed by 6 months at Holy Comforter in Charlottesville. The more my relationship with Jesus grows, the more confident I am he’s calling me to the priesthood. During this propaedeutic year, I’m excited about growing in prayer and relationship as I develop my interior life in preparation for the rest of formation.