It is exciting to have Father Ric Halvorson back on campus and he is excited to be back as well. The last time he was here at Mundelein for an extended time, Father Halvorson was a seminarian himself and was ordained in 2004. Now Father Halvorson joins Mundelein as a new member of the formation staff. He is also grateful for the chance to be back in his home state — having grown up in East Dubuque, Illinois before his former job with Coca-Cola took him out to Kansa City, Kansas. It was there that Father Halvorson felt the call to the priesthood and after 10 years in Kansas City entered Mundelein seminary in the fall of 1999. Having spent the last 17 years as a pastor, returning to campus has been quite a transition. But he also sees transition as an opportunity “to relearn some things and be open to new things.”
During his time as a pastor and in seminary, Father Halvorson had been very cognizant of the presence of the Holy Spirit. On Clinical Pastoral Education as a seminarian, whenever he was faced with a difficult situation, he remembers making sure to call on the Holy Spirit for help, something he continues to practice to this day. He sees that sense of the presence of holy spirit in one’s life as an important part of the formation process. The work of the Holy Spirit is after all what led him to the priesthood and back to Mundelein as a formator. Because of the importance of the work of the Holy Spirit in his life, Father Halvorson sees it as a privilege to walk with seminarians during their time of discernment and see where the Holy Spirit is leading them.
Father Halvorson is also excited to bring his experience as a pastor to Mundelein Seminary.
“Relying on the Holy Spirit helps you to be present to the people that we are ministering to,“ he said. “It’s not just what we say, it’s how we are present to the people.”
He notes that nowadays things are so polarizing and “no one seems to find common ground.” For Father Halvorson, growing in one’s ability to be present to others is a key part of the formation process for seminarians at Mundelein. “I hope with my experience as a pastor to help guys to just realize the importance of being present. We think we need to have all the answers, and even if we have all the answers, that might not be where the people are. If you are set in your ways you might miss the presence of the Holy Spirit. You might miss an opportunity to be present to people,” he said. As the skill of being present to others becomes all the more important in the priest’s task of accompanying others, Father Halvorson hopes to show us that it can be done, and we do not have to get caught up in divisions. Please pray for Father Halvorson and the seminarians that he serves as he continues his work as a formator.