“The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness”
--Pope Benedict XVI
After Archbishop McNicholas High School alumnus Tony Losekamp graduated in 2013, he attended The Ohio State University, committed to a degree in environmental studies and ecosystem restoration. Losekamp was deeply involved in student life at OSU, much like he was at McNicholas where he was Mardi Gras King, and found a community of like-minded students in the Scholars Program. But when Losekamp began attending Bible study through the OSU Newman Center, he began to see a different purpose for his life.
“In college, you are motivated to build a resume for a good job, career, and life according to the university and our culture,” Losekamp said. “But as I participated in the Bible study, I began to see a deeper meaning and purpose to my life and understand that my life has intrinsic value to God. I am not just a gear in the economic machine.”
Returning to OSU his sophomore year, Losekamp decided that investing in his faith was just as important, if not more so, than investing in his education. “I realized that I am living not for myself but for God,” he said. Losekamp gave up his leadership in student organizations and moved in to St. Paul’s Outreach, a residential campus ministry program that seeks to renew participants’ faith and move forward in servant leadership to evangelize. He began to have confidence in something other than himself and in the path he was being called to take.
“I began to realize that it was not up to me, but now I had the confidence and courage to place my life in God’s hand,” Losekamp said.
Losekamp’s family, including his father McNicholas math teacher Bill Losekamp, supported his decision but challenged him. “There was a wide range of reactions from my family,” Losekamp said. “They understood that as a sophomore in college, I didn’t know everything, and they called on me to learn more and grow in confidence and not make a weak decision. Their support and challenge strengthened my decision.”
Losekamp graduated from OSU this past spring and is now a first year seminarian at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary of the West at The Athenaeum of Ohio, embarking on a seven-year journey to being ordained a priest. While the first years are filled with studies of philosophy and theology, Losekamp looks forward to the wide-range of ministries that the priesthood affords. “The beauty of the priesthood,” he said, “is that there are so many possibilities to serve the Lord.”
Losekamp believes many young adults consider a vocation to religious life but do not feel worthy or supported. He recalls hearing then-seminarian Sean Wilson speak to his McNicholas theology class about the priesthood and feeling a connection to the similarities between his own life and Wilson’s.
“I thought ‘God, why are you doing this?,’” he said. “I was attentive but in denial, not mature enough. My faith was not mature enough to see what God was trying to do.”
Now Losekamp sees that it is not a matter of being worthy and that only by the grace of God are we called. “God created us for some definite purpose,” he said. “As challenging as it is, you have a meaning rooted in God the Father to live not as the world sees but as God sees.”