Meet: Seminarians Marc Soellner and Jon-Paul Bevak
Four men will be ordained to the priesthood for Cincinnati tomorrow at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains. Here is a little about two of them:
Deacon Marc Soellner
A graduate of Summit Country Day School, Deacon Soellner attended St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Milford and did his internship at Assumption Parish in Mt. Healthy. He is the son of the late John and Shirley Soellner, and his mother Shirley still lives in Milford.
His favorite job before entering the seminary was working as a roofer for two summers, a challenge he said he enjoyed. His favorite sport to watch is college wrestling, and his favorite team is the Iowa Hawkeyes.
His favorite class at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary of the West was on the Gospel of Mark. “It was taught so well by Msgr. Morman,” he says, “and was so enlightening about Christ’s Passion, which is a regular point of mental prayer for me.”
The thing he most looks forward to as a priest, says Deacon Soellner, is saying Mass and hearing “many” confessions. His favorite saint is St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, “for his example of the ascetical life, and his great love of the people of God: He taught that all people are called to live lives of holiness, not just clergy and religious, but all.”
Favorite Scripture: Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mt 16:24)
Deacon Jon-Paul Bevak
Youngstown native, Deacon Bevak has wanted to be a priest since age four, when his relatives recall him playing priest. with his uncle’s old Mass kit. His parents, Paul and Mary Ellen, still live in Youngstown, attending his home parish of St. Joseph the Provider in Campbell, but he will become a permanent Cincinnati resident with the Community-in-Formation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Cincinnati. He did his internship at St. Patrick Parish in Kent (diocese of Youngstown).
Deacon Bevak says that, as he entered the seminary (the Pontifical College Josephinum) right out of high school, he doesn’t have a favorite pre-seminary job. His favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers (“being a Youngstown native, a city split between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, I can’t bring myself to give that up”) and his favorite class at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary of the West was Church History. “As Cardinal Newman said, he who is deep in history can’t help but to be Catholic,” he says. “In particular, I am found of Reformation and Counter-Reformation History because of the deep impact that period had on the life of the Church up until modern times.”
The thing he looks forward to most about being a priest is celebrating the Sacraments for others. “The Sacraments are the life of our Church and Faith,” he says. “They bring God to the faithful and the faithful to God. In the celebration of the Sacraments, the priest becomes the instrument through which God helps to infuse grace into this world, and the world can certainly use more grace.”
Not surprisingly for this Oratorian, his favorite saint is St. Philip Neri. He most admires that the saint took the best of society and used to to promote Christ, “seeking not to condemn the culture, but rather evangelize it.”
Favorite Scripture: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)
Portraits courtesy the Athenaeum of Ohio/Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary of the West.