The Roman Catholic Diocese Of Lubbock
Most Reverend Robert M. Coerver, S.T.L., M.S.
Bishop Of Lubbock

Jeremy Trull

Christmas 2017

Seminarian Profile: Jeremy Trull

If you began your seminary training here in Lubbock, what are three interesting characteristics of the Diocese that helped you decide to begin or continue your seminary training in Lubbock?  For starters, the Diocese of Lubbock is a mission diocese that is in great need of priests.  Second, I have always found Lubbock and the West Texas region to be full of genuine, kind-hearted people.  Finally, Lubbock is home to most of my family and friends, and I want to be able to minister to them as a priest. 

To help us understand the seminary training, what is your current level of seminary formation?  What is your next milestone in seminary training, ordination, or the diaconate?  Would you like to share how your original family fosters your choice of vocation?  I have completed four years of formation already.  First, I was sent to Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, TX, where I completed my philosophy studies at the University of Dallas.  Then, I transferred to St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, TX for my theology studies.  I have completed two years in Houston already.  This past summer, I worked at Covenant Medical Center as a chaplain and now doing my Pastoral Year.  This is a year long internship which will be done here at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.  After this year, I will return to Houston for two more years to complete my theology studies.  My prospective date for ordination is Summer 2019 (Diaconate) and Summer 2020 (Priesthood.)  Throughout all of this, my family has supported me 100%.  They have always told me to follow wherever I sense God is leading me.  They have told me numerous times how proud they are of me and that they pray for me every day, which is one of the greatest encouragements I could ever receive.

 How did you begin your journey to pursue your vocation to the priesthood? Are there specific situations, circumstances that inspired you to consider the priesthood?  Was it someone or something during your early childhood, teens, adulthood, and/or an educational, sacramental retreat, parish, or community event?  My discernment began when I was still going through RCIA at St. John Neumann and several people approached me and told me that they thought I would make a good priest.  I dismissed the idea for a time, until some friends made the suggestion again and I finally realized that I need to take discernment seriously.  I spent the next six months praying and doing research on priesthood, trying to determine if this was the calling which God has placed on my life.  It was in the chapel of Mundelein Seminary in Chicago during a discernment retreat that I finally realized that God was indeed calling me to go to the seminary.  That decision has been affirmed over and over again over the last four years, and so I can now honestly say that one day becoming a priest is the greatest desire I have.

 Is there a specific ministry you feel that your gifts, talents, experiences, and desires to serve could best be utilized to help serve in a parish, mission, ministry, and the Catholic Church?  I have always been academically inclined, so teaching is something which I am very passionate about.  Also, being a convert, I think I would have a lot to offer for RCIA programs, since I have a shared experience with many who go through RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.  I have assisted with two different RCIA programs over the years and it is a profound joy to see people discover the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith for the first time.  Campus ministry is also something which speaks to my heart.  College is a major turning point in many Catholics’ lives.  It is a time when their faith can either be strengthened or severely weakened, and it is also a time when many discern their vocation, either to marriage or to priesthood and religious life.

What are classes like in the seminary? Are they integrated with secular institutions? Is there a selection of degree plans available to you? Where have your travels taken you on your journey through the priesthood?  The classes for Holy Trinity Seminarians are taken at the University of Dallas Campus, which were very rigorous yet also very formative and enjoyable.  At St. Mary’s Seminary, however, the classes took place on campus, though the professors and curriculum is supplied by the University of St. Thomas.  The biggest difference between classes at these two seminaries is that the University of Dallas classes were almost entirely theoretical (philosophy and theology), but the course at St. Mary’s included a lot of practical formation (e.g. Canon Law, seminars on how to celebrate the Mass and the sacraments, how to do marriage counseling, how to provide pastoral care to the sick, etc.)  All seminarians receive a bachelor’s degree in philosophy (unless they already have a college degree) and a Master’s of Divinity; however, there are options for additional degrees, depending on the seminary you attend.  My time in seminary has allowed for a lot of travel, much more than I had experienced before.  Prior to seminary, I had lived in Lubbock for almost my entire life, but I can now say that I have also lived in Dallas and Houston.  I have been able to visit Benedictine Monasteries in Arkansas and Missouri, and spent an entire summer in Omaha for a summer program.  I was also able to visit the State Capital Building in Austin with my seminary for the Texas March for the Life and Advocacy Day.

 Do you have time to enjoy any technical or recreational activities during your seminary training? Are there any hobbies or activities you enjoy during your down time from the seminary studies?  We are strongly encouraged to enjoy other pursuits besides just academics in order to keep a balanced life; however, seminary life is very busy, so we have to actively work to make time for it.  For me, I enjoy watching movies, going out to eat with my seminarian brothers, playing ping pong, chess, and pool.  I also enjoy weightlifting and have begun to enjoy playing soccer as well.

 Tell us about your Pastoral Year assignment?  How can we as parishioners help you during your internship with us and throughout the remainder of your formation?  The Pastoral Year is an integral part of the formation program at St. Mary’s Seminary.  After the second year of theology, a seminarian’s entire class are sent to parishes in their respective diocese to work and gain hands-on experience in parish life and ministry.  We live at the rectory and take part in numerous programs offered by the parish, all under the guidance of the pastor, who serves as mentor to the seminarian.  It is in invaluable time for formation and discernment, and I am truly grateful to be here at Holy Spirit for my Pastoral Year.  The greatest thing that Holy Spirit parishioners can do for us seminarians is to continue to pray for us, but another important thing would be to keep in contact with us, especially through mail.  While at seminary, a tough day can easily be made much brighter by seeing that you have a card or letter in your mail slot from someone back home!

Would you like to share your contact information with us? How can we stay in touch with you and you with us?  Of course!  I will be at Holy Spirit for the next year, but will return to Houston next fall to finish my classes.  My address while I am at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston is 9845 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77024.

Is there anything we as parishioners can do to help foster vocations within our parish?  The greatest thing to do is talk often about vocations and discernment with the children and teens of the parish.  Help them to see the goodness and beauty of these callings, and encourage them to bravely ask God what His will for them is.  If you notice something in another person that makes you think they would make a good priest or religious, don’t be afraid to let them know.  Above all else, continue praying for those who are searching and for those who have already answered the call.