When Scott Kahler was in fifth grade, his father passed away. It was a traumatic, sad, and life-altering time for the whole Kahler family. But what Scott recognizes now so many years later is that God used that awful event to work in his life.
“It took a lot of faith, on my mom’s part and on my part, to walk through the time immediately after my dad passed,” Scott says. “We didn’t know what the future held for us, and we had to have faith that God was going to take care of things.”
It is this faith and trust that Scott began to build after his dad’s passing that he believes enabled him to be completely open to God’s will in his life, ultimately leading him to discern and pursue a religious vocation as a priest for the Diocese of St. Cloud.
“I don’t know what the future holds — none of us do,” Scott says. “But I know that it doesn’t matter because God will take care of me. The uncertainty we faced after my dad’s passing has helped me see that God will always take care of me if I leave things to Him.”
After years of discernment that started when Scott encountered Christ in a radically personal way at a Franciscan University of Steubenville Conference, Scott entered minor seminary at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Winona, Minn. right after high school.
“I remember encountering God at that conference,” Scott says. “It was the first time that I experienced a complete desire to live out the faith on my own. The experience was so life-changing that I remember thinking, ‘If what we profess to be true is all real, if Jesus is here, then I need to be living my life according to His call for me.’”
From then on, as Scott proceeded through high school, the thought of a religious vocation remained present in his mind. He began looking into pursuing a career in architecture, and as he searched for colleges to attend, he continued to consider whether Christ was calling him to the priesthood. When he visited Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, he says he knew that was where God wanted him.
“I knew at that point that God wanted me to go there,” Scott says. “Even if I didn’t become a priest after my studies there, I knew that was the next step for me.”
So, Scott enrolled at Immaculate Heart of Mary and spent the next few years studying there. As he continued on in his formation at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scott says it became evident that God was calling him to enter major seminary after his time there. And so, the committed disciple that he has become, Scott followed the Lord’s call, and he entered major seminary at St. Paul’s Seminary at
St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minn. He is currently in his first year there, and he says he continues to feel God calling him to the priesthood. He says he is overjoyed by the calling.
“Hearing the call to a vocation is really a gradual thing,” Scott says. “But as you remain open to what Christ has for you and begin following where you feel Him leading you, you get an overwhelming sense of peace. So many graces come from being open to God’s call in our lives.”
Looking forward to the possibility of being ordained to the transitional diaconate and then to the priesthood, Scott says there are many things he is excited to experience.
“I am looking forward to the ministry itself,” Scott says. “Being with the people of God and serving them and administering the sacraments, really excites me! I’m also looking forward to the necessarily intentional spirituality of the priesthood. As a priest, I will be charged with bringing the love I experience with Christ to the people He calls me to serve, and that is such a privilege. I’m also looking forward to the brotherhood of the priesthood and to being a part of the St. Cloud Diocese. I have fallen in love with the diocese and am looking forward to serving here.”
Indeed, it is an exciting time for Scott right now, and there is much excitement on the horizon. Yet, we know that time in seminary can be tedious and draining. So, as we look forward to what lies ahead for Scott in his diaconal and priestly ministries, we ought to be sure and keep him in our prayers day to day as he continues through his seminarian studies.
May God in His goodness bless Scott for his “yes” and strengthen him for his service to the Church! Be sure to keep Scott in your prayers.