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Tim Hedrick: Found call in working with teens

hedrick8607    I am 31 years old. I was born and raised in Metairie, and I am a member of St. Philip Neri Parish. I am in my third year of theology studies at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. I will be ordained a transitional deacon on May 18 and, God willing, I will be ordained a priest in June 2014.
    While I have been in seminary for five years now, I have not always known that I was called to the priesthood. When I was growing up, I was an altar boy but never really considered being a priest. The thought would pop into my mind every now and then, but I really wanted to be a doctor, lawyer or firefighter.
    The idea of being a priest became more of a possibility when I was a student at Archbishop Rummel High School. Through the example of young religion teachers such as Beau Charbonnet – now a priest – I came to know more about my faith and chose to live it not because my parents raised me Catholic but because I wanted to. I came to know Jesus in a personal way.
    It was also at Rummel that I really got to know a priest for the first time. Jesuit Father Wayne Roca’s joy and love of priesthood and the Catholic Church were inspiring. Even though the idea crossed my mind, I thought, “Not me … at least not now.”
    When I went to LSU, I got involved at the Catholic Center on campus. When I graduated from LSU in 2004, I decided not to work in my field of study but rather as a youth minister. I wanted to be a beacon of hope for teenagers in the same ways that my teachers and youth ministers were beacons of hope for me.
    When I started working, I was dating a girl during my senior year. As I transitioned to the working world, I didn’t do a good job of balancing work and a girlfriend. After a few months, we broke up, and I found myself working as a single man in a church parish.
    Two of the best years of my life were working at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Baton Rouge. All of the passing thoughts of priesthood began to resurface. I thought to myself, “If I live this life, I can be happy. I can be fulfilled.”
    Even though I felt the call and knew I would probably enter seminary eventually, I was not ready. I decided to teach high school while I continued to discern. After two more years of discerning, I finally decided I would give it a chance. I entered St. Joseph Seminary College in August 2008. After two years of studying philosophy at St. Joseph Seminary College, I moved on to Notre Dame Seminary.
    While every moment of seminary life has not been easy, I have no regrets. The seminary has been a very formative time, personally, intellectually, spiritually and pastorally. I did not enter knowing that I would be a priest. I entered knowing that I felt God was calling me to consider a vocation.
    I was open to a call to the priesthood, and I was willing to take time to seriously consider whether God and the church were calling me to priestly ministry.
TIM D. HEDRICK

BIOGRAPHY
Age: 31
Birthplace: Metairie
Home Parish: St. Philip Neri
Parents: Larry and Barbara Hedrick
Education: St. Clement of Rome; Christian Brothers School (1995); Archbishop Rummel High School (2000); Louisiana State University, B.S. in Information Systems and Decision Sciences (2004); St. Joseph Seminary College, B.A. in Philosophy and Theological Studies (2010); entered Notre Dame Seminary in 2010.
Favorite Food: Sweets (ice cream, wedding cake,
beignets, king cake,
donuts, etc.)
Tell us something people don’t know about you: I survived
a parachute malfunction
while skydiving.
Favorite Saint: Blessed John Paul II because of his great witness.
Favorite Book (Religious and Non-religious): “The Discernment of Spirits” by Father Timothy Gallagher, O.M.V., and “Coming Back Stronger” by Drew Brees
Hobbies: Snowboarding, hiking, camping, outdoor activities, LSU and Saints football, hanging out
with friends.
Summer Internships: Puerto Rico Spanish Immersion (2009); Institute for Priestly Formation (2010); Our Lady of Divine Providence, Metairie (2011); chaplain intern at Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin, Texas (2012).
Diaconate Internship: St. Pius X, New Orleans

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