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Meet our seminarians: Ben Sundlie

What seminary are you attending and where are you in the formation process? When is your birthday? 

I am attending St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul. I am currently in my first year of formation. Feb. 25, 2003.

Ben Sundlie

What’s your home parish? 

Our Lady of Lourdes, Pine River (part of the tri-parish of Our Lady of The Lakes - Pine River, Pequot, and Nisswa) 

Tell me a little about your family. 

I have a small, loving, supportive, and religious family. I have an older sister, Mikayla, who is 22, graduated from UMD in 2021 and will be getting married in February 2023. My father, Brian Sundlie, works construction in Crosslake, and my mother, Sherri Sundlie, is the secretary for Our Lady of The Lakes tri-parish in Pequot. 

Is there an email address where people can write to you? 

[email protected] or [email protected] 

If people wanted to ask the intercession of a particular saint for you, what saint would you choose? 

I cant just choose one! I’d say my top three would be Padre Pio, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and St. Charbel Makhlouf. 

What are some of the things you like to do in your spare time? 

I like to read about saints or the martyrs if I’m not able to get outside. If I can get outside I enjoy hiking or going on walks, playing Ultimate Frisbee, spikeball, and volleyball. 

What is your favorite devotion (and why)? 

The scapular is a pretty powerful devotion for me, I just really enjoy the thought of being able to put on mom’s livery every morning and know she’s with me. I particularly like the prayer that I say with it in the mornings: O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary (here kiss your Brown Scapular), I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the altars throughout the world, joining with it the offering of my every thought, word, and action of this day. O my Jesus, I desire today to gain every indulgence and merit I can and I offer them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate that she may best apply them to the interests of Thy most Sacred Heart. Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us! Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! 

What’s the best thing about your home town? 

It’s small. It has roughly 1,000 people, so It feels like I know everyone there. 

What person has been the biggest help to you so far as you discern a call to the priesthood? 

The first figure to come to mind that’s still living would be Father Scott Padrnos. He’s been such a huge blessing to go to when I need advice or help in general. I don’t know if this is cheating, but I’d also like to say Padre Pio. He was the first saint to really adopt me and show me how to love God’s will. I was atrracted to his exemplary life of miracles at first, and as I read more about him and his life it became clear that I was attracted to his life of obedience and humility, hence showing me a beauty that I had been looking over for years, and ultimately attracting me ever the more to a life in servitude towards God. 

If someone asked you how to grow as a disciple of Jesus, what’s your best advice? 

Luke 10:27-28. [”He said in reply, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ (Jesus) replied to him, ‘You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.’”] This sums up what it takes to follow Jesus. I always like to picture the words of Luke 10:27-28 in the most radical form possible, giving me great consolation. Also, read Deus Caritas Est, or a summary of it. 

What does the priesthood mean in the life of the church? 

To put it simply, Vatican II states that the Eurcharist is the source and summit of Christian life. If we have no priests, how can we obtain this spring of grace and the crown of salvation?