You Will Be My Witnesses: Father Luke Meyer ’02

“You will be my witnesses.”

The line from the Acts of the Apostles ingrained in the archway entrance of Saint John Vianney College Seminary’s new chapel sends a clear message: we are called to be saints — witnesses to the love of Christ. One of those witnesses is SJV alumnus Fr. Luke Meyer:

Q: When did you attend SJV?
A: 2000-2002

Q: You started off at the University of St. Thomas studying engineering and business fields? What made you switch to SJV?
A: I lived in Brady Hall my freshman and sophomore years, and after experiencing regular confession with Fr. Bill O’Neil, I started regular spiritual direction with him. He really taught me to pray and abide in the Lord in new ways. I was also involved with the Center for Catholic Studies, attending many events where priestly life was presented as a dynamic and joyful way of life. I also enjoyed coming to Thursday adoration with a spirit of reverence and silence during the day at SJV. These things came together and crystalized into a desire to discern well in the community at St. John Vianney College Seminary.

Q: What are you most grateful for during your time at SJV?
A: I really enjoyed all of the different priests, their homilies, conferences and fatherly presence. I am also grateful for all the opportunities for prayer and Holy Hours we had, with a good structure and order to our day.

Q: How long have you been an ordained priest and where are you serving right now?
A: I’ve been ordained 17 years this summer and currently serve as pastor of Sts. Anne and Joachim in Fargo.

Q: From 2015 to 2022, you served at the St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center on campus at the University of North Dakota. Can you tell us about your time there?
A: I enjoyed the curious minds and questions from the students. One of my favorite events was the monthly Thursday night “fireside chats” where I would present for a while on a hot topic of the day and then allow ample space for questions. The discussions we had were tremendous.

Q: What brings you the most joy in being a priest during the day-to-day life?
A: I think hearing confessions is what lifts my heart the most. Sure, you are encountering people in their struggles and weaknesses, but more importantly, they are exercising hope in God’s mighty power to set them free. We have such a good culture of frequent confession at the parish, and it’s such a gift to be a voice of encouragement in gazing upon the mercy of God with many souls, to share that hope with them.

Q: Do you see any aspects of SJV’s formation that have remained with you today?
A: I would say the importance of sharing life together with people as a spiritual father. I remember our formators being free to share life with us in many ways outside of official meetings and gatherings, and that presence was such a gift. In an age where there can be less priests to serve, it can seem like priority in one’s schedule can be dominated by celebrating sacraments, which is important of course. However, the relational gift of spiritual fatherhood in sharing ordinary moments with the faithful can be so impactful, and I try to give significant attention to those encounters in home visits, activities and social time with parishioners.

Q: As an alumnus, what do you think of seeing SJVs new chapel being built?
A: I believe the new chapel is a sign of growth and a priority put on prayer. While I have great memories of Masses, Holy Hours and talks in the chapel, I was thrilled to see the new design and the focus on the identity of the Beloved Son, such an important theme in the college years and beyond.

This article was first published in Vianney News Spring 2023.

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