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Ben PribbenowParish: Holy Spirit Parish, Kimberly
Birth Date: October 8
Seminary: Pontifical North American College
Seminary Address:
00120 Vatican City State, Europe
Mailing Address: 609 Theresa Ct. Kimberly, WI 54136-2343

Theology I

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Intercessor: St. John Vianney, because he lived a humble priesthood. I hope to imitate his spirit of humility and service during my time in the seminary and as a priest.

What is your baptismal day and in which church?
My baptismal day is Jan. 14, 1995. I was baptized at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Kimberly.

What is your favorite devotional and why?
My favorite devotionals are Marian devotions and, in particular, praying the rosary. This is my favorite devotional because Mary has always been present in my life, even when I was not taking my faith seriously. For example, before every high school football game or track meet, I prayed ten Hail Marys. As I grew in my faith, I began to pray the Rosary. Through this devotional, Mary has helped me to meditate on the events of Christ’s life. I have found great peace and strength in praying a daily rosary.

What was one misconception you had about seminary and how did that change?
One misconception that I had was that it would be boring. This view changed early on at Mundelein Seminary. Since day one, my time in seminary has been a great adventure. On a day-to-day basis I have the opportunity to learn the truths of the faith, play sports with other seminarians, pilgrimage to holy sites, sing in the choir, and do many other fun activities. I have plenty to do, and my experiences are enriched by the friends I share those experiences with.

What would your life be like without a cellphone?
If I did not have a cellphone my life would be better in some ways and more difficult in others. Without a cellphone, I would be able to live more in the present moment. I would not be distracted by text messages and other notifications which pull me away from the items in front of me. Not having a cellphone would mean not having some form of media to constantly “entertain” me. As a result, I could more easily connect with and love those around me. On the other hand, not having a cellphone would make it more difficult to keep in touch with my family and friends who live far from me. Similarly, organizing social events would be more difficult. All of that said, I like to think that I am not too attached to my cellphone so hopefully my life would not change too much.

What is the funniest thing that happened to you in formation thus far?
One experience in Italy stands out. While at the beach, I made a small “flub” with the Italian language. A few seminarians and I, roasting in the sun, decided to sit in some empty beach chairs and under a couple unused umbrellas. After sitting in the chairs for an hour, I felt a tap on my shoulder and saw an Italian man motioning for me to get up. As an Italian language “newbie” I used an informal word for, “excuse me,” instead of the formal word or simply apologizing. At this statement, the gentleman’s wife made some exclamation in Italian, communicating her annoyance. My fellow seminarians and I were able to have a pretty good laugh about this as we walked away from the beach.

Who or what was the greatest influence in your discernment of the priesthood?
Fr. Eric Nielsen, the chaplain at St. Paul’s University Catholic Center at UWMadison was the greatest influence in my discernment of the priesthood. He both encouraged me to consider the priesthood and accompanied me as I discerned. Additionally, he was an excellent witness to the joy of the priesthood.

What does it mean to be a missionary disciple?
To be a missionary disciple means having a friendship with Christ characterized by daily prayer and frequent reception of the sacraments. Out of this relationship, a missionary disciple is able to proclaim the Gospel through words and loving actions. In doing so, a missionary disciple responds to Christ’s call to, “Make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28:19).