Two men who join seminary but have a different calling

The call of God to serve God and his church is something few people are capable of. Some of those who are capable fail to answer, while others accidentally answer the call, unsure if it is for them or not. Mr. Steve Wells and Mr. Tom “Magist” Handloser are two of those who answered, unsure if it was for them or not.

After college, Mr. Wells worked for a local financial institution. “After a year of working there, they offered to send me to Cornell University to earn an MBA.” said Mr. Wells, “If I went to Cornell and received my MBA all on their tab, then I felt that I needed to stay at that institution. I had always thought of the priesthood.” Stuck at crossroads, Mr. Wells decided to answer the calling to the priesthood.

He was placed at Holy Trinity in Dallas, Texas by Bishop McDonald. Mr. Wells said  “In the time, if you could financially support yourself, the diocese wanted you too. So, I supported myself, and when I ran out of money, my mother supported me.” Mr. Wells stayed in seminary for three and a half years. As part of seminary schooling, one could leave the seminary and do practical work in a parish. He worked with Msgr. Herbert at Christ the King parish in Little Rock. Mr. Wells did a wide variety of things, from teaching high school students the catechism to landscaping the grounds.

The last year of seminary is when Mr. Wells realized that the religious life was not for him. “I felt God was calling me to something else at that time.” said Mr. Wells. After leaving the seminary, Mr. Wells turned to one man who alway supported him in what he did, Fr. Tribou. “When I decided not to return for my final semester, I didn’t want him to hear through the grapevine, so I came out here to tell him I wasn’t going to pursue this anymore.” Fr. Tribou’s immediate question was what major he had. Mr. Wells started subbing for an english teacher who just recently left, while they found a replacement. To this day, Mr. Wells is still waiting on a replacement. “I looked back on it, and it was like a three and a half year retreat, where I could really immerse myself in scripture and the documents of the church. It allowed me to grow in my faith.” said Mr. Wells.

“What inspired me to be a priest were all the priests here at Catholic,” said Mr. Handloser “they were all funny, God-fearing, holy men.” Since the ninth grade, Mr. Handloser knew he wanted to become a priest. When time came for him to sign up for the seminary, he wasn’t quite sure what to do or where to go. With the help of Mr. Wells, Mr. Handloser was able to make the process all much easier, and attended Holy Trinity in Dallas, Texas at the request of Bishop McDonald.

“It was my mother’s dream to have one of her eight children in the religious life, so my family was very supportive of my decision,” said Mr. Handloser. He attended Holy Trinity for two and a half years. He went down for one and a half years, left, then returned for another year. Towards the end of his second cycle, he decided the religious life wasn’t for him. Though he aimed to be a priest and teach at Catholic High, he felt that the priesthood wasn’t his calling. He said, “This definitely wasn’t time wasted. I made tons of new friends, and it gave me peace about what i wanted to do.”

by Jared Hanig


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