“Postcards” from the Class of 2014

July 31, 2014



This summer I participated in the Rome Experience. This experience was a great opportunity for me to grow more in my faith and in my knowledge about the history of the Catholic Church. During this trip I saw places that I always wanted to see and even places that I did not know existed. We had Mass at the Church in Ars where the Patron Saint of my seminary served and died as a priest. I saw his in-corrupt body there in the new basilica. This was an amazing experience. I also had the chance to see many places where other saints lived. I saw the stairs that Jesus walked at the praetorium and a piece of the cross that he carried for our salvation.

Seeing all of these places and people so excited about their faith gave me great joy and encouraged me to strive not only to live a better life but also to imitate the saints and to live as they did to bring more people closer to God.  I think that this experience was very positive and that I learned many new things that I can teach others and that if God willing I become a priest I will be preaching about. The Rome Experience, as many people have said before me, is a life changing experience. There is so much to learn and after going through the program I feel like I have taken a great step towards learning more about my faith, the Catholic Church, and how to try to become a saint little by little. Pax!

Mauro Sanchez
Seminarian for the Diocese of Sioux City
Rome Experience Class of 2014


Class of 2012: Aaron Pohlen

May 6, 2012

Aaron Pohlen
Diocese of Sioux City
St. John Vianney Theological Seminary

Throughout high school and while serving as an altar boy, Aaron was often approached and asked if he wanted to be a priest.  He kindly replied “yes”, but part of him wanted them to stop asking so that he didn’t have to think about it.

It was over time and with the assurance of trusted friends, family members, teachers, and priests, who finally confirmed in Aaron that he should consider the priesthood.  Aaron also trusted that God would ultimately give him the graces he needed to follow Him, “even if it seemed impossible to accomplish”.

Through the Rome Experience, Aaron hopes “to gain new friendships with men (like me) studying for the priesthood in different areas of the country.”

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