Current Seminarians

Jim Goerend

Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa


December 15

Ordination Year


Home Town

St. Lucas, IA

Home Parish

St. Luke


University of Northern Iowa (2005, Social Science - Teaching)

Previous Career

High School AP History teacher, acquisition/relocation agent, Boy Scout Executive, Park & Rec Director




Baseball, college and high school wrestling, counted cross stitch, fishing


I did some professional stage acting

Favorite Saint

St. Joseph

Vocation Story

The path of my discernment has been quite a long one. When I went to Loras College in Dubuque, IA in the late 1980’s, I entered St. Pius X College Seminary. I went in to see what it was all about, to discern whether the priesthood was for me and because a good friend of mine, Mike, invited me to come check it out. I stayed for about 1 ½ years and then dropped out. Over the next 20 years or so, there would be times that I would feel a calling, but I would always come up with some excuse to not pursue it any further. That same friend who invited me to join the seminary would be ordained a priest. We stayed in touch over the years and he would often ask me if I had thought about going back into the seminary. Another close friend from college who had been ordained, Phil, would tell me that he knew that I was supposed to go back to the seminary and be ordained. These two wonderful friends and holy priests kept the calling from God in the forefront of my life, whether I liked it or not. Finally, after going to mass one winter Sunday in 2012, I felt a strong call from God, as if He were telling me that He was still here and would wait for me to be done with my excuses. The homily was about discerning our particular vocation in life and of serving God’s flock. The priest asked the congregation to say yes to God’s call to whatever vocation it happened to be. Sitting there it was as if it were just the priest and I in the entire church and he was asking me why I was resisting the call that God was sending me. I could no longer hide, I couldn’t make any more excuses to turn away from what God was asking of me. I began to realize that I needed to answer that call; I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I had been asking myself for the past several years if teaching provided enough fulfillment and purpose in my life. I felt that I was being asked by God to do more for His people. To serve them, tend to their spiritual needs through the sacraments and be a bridge for them to cross over to meet Jesus.

Priest Aspirations

Being with the People of God and walking with them along their faith journey through life.

What has been your favorite/most memorable story of your time at Mundelein thus far?

I was supposed to do my pre-theology studies at Loras College in Dubuque, IA until I got a phone call on a Tuesday evening from my vocation director telling me that plans had changed and that I had to be at Mundelein Seminary on Friday, 3 days from then. Classes would start the following Monday. I missed orientation and the silent retreat and really didn’t know anyone or anything about Mundelein. It was quite the introduction to Mundelein Seminary and I basically just followed the other members of my class around campus for the first couple of weeks.

How can Mundelein's donors and community pray for you?

Please pray that the Holy Spirit strengthens and deepens my call to the ordained ministry. I would also ask then to pray for more vocations to the priesthood within the Universal Church.