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Catholic Diocese of Peoria : Office of Priestly Vocations
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Peter Schoonmaker

Birth Date

February 03, 2003

Parish Location

St. Mary, Rock Island

Year entered the Seminary/Class of

Entered in 2021, Class of 2029

Studying at
Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, Winona, MN

Why did you become a seminarian?

The thought of being a priest had been on my mind since I was little, but it wasn’t until eighth grade that I thought that God might actually want ME to be a priest. I have always liked doing hands-on jobs, like carpentry and blacksmithing, and I thought that I would spend my life doing something like that. I have come to realize that our Gracious God knew of that longing, and now, if it is His Will, I will get to do the ultimate hands on job – celebrate the Holy Mass!  I have been slowly heading towards the seminary for some time, but what really sold me was one, simple, key phrase that the Lord told me during prayer, “You’re on the right path.” I trusted Him; and now I am convicted that the ultimate reason I am here is because I believe that being a seminarian is God’s Will for me.

Before you entered the seminary, what were you doing?

I just finished high school as a homeschooler while working in construction and as a landscaper for my brother. Most importantly, I have enjoyed being an uncle for my five nephews and one niece.

An interesting fact about you

I enjoy making swords; I am a Lord of the Rings fanatic; and I believe that, like you, I was created by God to be a Saint.

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