Browsing The Northern Cross

Seminarian interview: Isaac Golen 

What seminary are you attending and where are you in the formation process? 

I am in my first year of formation at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul.   

When is your birthday? 

December 30, 2001  

What’s your home parish? 

Queen of Peace in Cloquet

Isaac Golen

Tell me a little about your family. 

My dad, Robert, is a carpenter, and my mom, Michele, works in assisted living homes. My brother, Jacob, is 30 and my sister, Justine, is 26 and they are both in school pursuing a career.    

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

[email protected]   

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

St. Augustine   

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

C.S. Lewis is my favorite author, so I like learning about God and the world through his awesome books. I also love going to the different gun ranges around the Duluth area and shooting. When I am home, I enjoy fixing cars (even though it is often frustrating)!   

What is your favorite devotion (and why)? 

I do not have much experience with devotional prayer. I have a desire to pray the Rosary daily, yet it has been a challenge to do so this year. It is hard to grow close to Jesus without the help of His Mother.   

What’s the best thing about your home town? 

In Mahtowa, we have the best small town grocery store, “TJ’s.” The owners are great, and they make top notch bratwurst and potato sausages. 

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

Fr. Dominic Bouck was my chaplain when I attended the University of Mary in North Dakota, and he brought me into the faith through his RCIA class. He is a wonderful father and loves his students on campus. I heard him preach on the necessity for young men to serve in the role of the priest, and that “priests don’t grow on trees.” This struck me at the right time in my life, and ever since then, Jesus has granted me a desire for the priesthood and drawn my heart to Himself.    

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

What has helped me is listening to the desires of my heart. I desire intimacy and connection. I desire another to take an interest in me, all of me. I desire to bleed out for another. These desires show me who I am made for, as no person on earth can love perfectly, it leaves Jesus to be my only love. Like any earthly relationship, you must give yourself to your lover. You also live for your lover, so your daily life must be centered around them. Saying your prayers as you fall asleep in bed is not sufficient to nurture this relationship. Daily prayer time to tell Jesus about the pains or joys in your life is necessary. He cares about your heart. A lot.    

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

My chaplain once said that Jesus sends out priests “like Navy Seals” into our communities. We need shepherds to lead us through this world of chaos. The priest is the one who leads us to Jesus, our true happiness. The world desperately needs strong men to stand up and guide people to our Savior. Jesus calls men to leave behind the comforts of their lives and feed His sheep. I am very thankful to have wonderful priests in my life who have saved me from the darkest parts of my life.