Jace Scheffler

Jace ShefflerParish: St. John the Baptist Parish, Menasha

Birthday: December 19

Seminary: University of St. Thomas

Seminary Address:
2115 Summit Avenue #6312
St. Paul, MN 55105-1048

College IIV

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Patron: St. Thérèse of Lisieux

 
 

Are you a dog person or a cat person?
I am a cat person because they are soft and kind.

Tell us about a great experience that you had during the summer of 2018.
During Holy Mass on Totus Tuus, one of the girls was having trouble focusing. I gave her a holy card with an image of St. Thérèse of Lisieux kneeling at the open door of the Holy Family’s house and the little child Jesus running to her with open arms. The girl was utterly captivated by the image and showed me the connection between Jesus as a child and the death He was to face on Mount Calvary, which I had not noticed was depicted in the background of the image. The Lord touched my heart through her childlike curiosity and understanding.

Who influenced you the most to think about priesthood?
Fr. Daniel Schuster influenced me the most to consider the priesthood. In high school, I heard him preach and spoke with him after Masses. These encounters were always joy-filled and mysterious because there was something about this young, intense priest that was very appealing, but that I could not figure out. I quickly found out this joy and intentionality with us students was because he loved Jesus Christ and loved being his priest. His authenticity always impressed me. He was not merely trying to please people, rather he wanted us to encounter Jesus and fall deeply in love with Him. He, therefore, wanted to form us into disciples and bring us the truth at our pace. He had a zeal, a fire in his eyes, that I wanted for myself. Fr. Schuster often found ways to affirm, encourage, and counsel me whenever we met. He is a holy example of spiritual fatherhood, and this example was a very important seed that was planted in my heart, which spurred my desire to be a priest of Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis recently wrote a document entitled Gaudete et Exsultate on holiness. What does holiness look like to you?
Holiness to me looks like Jesus Himself. We are all holy to the extent to which we are set aside for God, and Jesus is our perfect model. His gaze and heart were always fixed on the Father and not on worldly things. We see this holiness modeled by the saints who became less concerned with comfort and unnecessary possessions and more concerned with prayer, love, and the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

I saw holiness very often this summer on Totus Tuus. I saw mothers and fathers making sacrifices for their children and hearing the beautiful ways they are sharing Jesus with their children. I saw pastors sharing the joy of the Gospel with the little ones and being committed to prayer. I saw young adults sacrifice sports practices and vacation time to share their faith. I especially saw the childlike love and concern the little kids had for each other. I find it important to remember that holiness is not moral perfection, otherwise not even the saints are holy. We are made for holiness, and we will receive it in the amount we desire it.

Share an interesting fact about your middle school years.
I raced kneel-down, open-cockpit race boats with modified fishing engines on lakes around the Midwest and nationally with my family. I was racing boats capable of reaching speeds around 45 m.p.h. Each race permitted up to 12 boats on oval two-turn courses.

What parish and diocesan movements have inspired you as a disciple?
Movements that have inspired me as a disciple have been: altar serving, lectoring, Spiritus retreats, Catholic Heart Work Camp, National Catholic Youth Conference, high school Bible studies, Knights of Columbus events, Newman Center events, Lifest, Liturgy of the Hours, World Youth Day, FOCUS SEEK Conference, Vianney visits, Walk for Vocations, St. Andrew Dinners, Totus Tuus, singing in sacred polyphony choirs, and local Adoration chapels.

What is your dream car?
My dream car would be a black super-charged Mini Cooper S. These little cars are quick, yet compact. I have wanted one of these since I was a kid. An added bonus is that you can park a Mini Cooper almost anywhere.

What aspect of your home parish do you enjoy the most and why?
I really enjoy the beautiful life-sized crucifix in the sanctuary of St. John the Baptist Church in Menasha. That crucifix has continued to inspire me to meditate on Jesus’ passion. Many might think how strange it is to have such a gruesome depiction of Our Lord. Jesus’ death, however, was for me, and I am called to give my life for Him and others. I will never forget this because I love him.