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Catholic Diocese of Peoria : Office of Priestly Vocations
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Benjamin Schoonmaker

Birth Date

April 27, 1999

Parish Location

St. Mary, Rock Island

Year entered the Seminary/Class of

Entered in 2017, Class of 2025

Studying at
Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, Winona, MN

Why did you become a seminarian?

Every time I would pray in silence, my heart would be set on fire with the thought of priesthood. Watching priests bring Jesus Christ’s love and mercy to His people, especially through the sacraments, continued to grow this desire. But I still put it off as something I didn’t want to do. With the help of events like Emmaus Days, Totus Tuus and a local youth group, I started praying more. As I prayed more, I could no longer set aside this desire. I knew I had to enter seminary to discern if this was God’s will.

Before you entered the seminary, what were you doing?

I was homeschooled through high school and worked at St. Giuseppes, a local pizza place.

An interesting fact about you

I have a black belt in Shorinji Kempo and enjoy roasting coffee.

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