Hello, my name is Will Targy and I am from St. Mary’s Parish in Bellevue, NE. I grew up at St. Mary’s, received all my sacraments there and also attended the K-8 school. St. Mary’s is an amazing community with a diverse culture. The parish is situated directly across from Offutt Air Force Base, so we have lots of active duty and retired military families. For high school, I attended Gross Catholic. Gross was a great school. I was involved with some sports and academic clubs but I spent a good amount of time focusing on our pastoral council as well as the high school youth group at St. Mary’s. For college I wanted to stay close to home, so I attended the University of Nebraska-Omaha. I majored in Religious Studies and minored in Philosophy. I was also very involved with my fraternity and other on-campus groups which included FOCUS (The Fellowship of Catholic University Students).
I experienced incredible growth and revival in my own faith life while spending time with the FOCUS missionaries and decided to join their staff after graduation. I ended up spending three years as a FOCUS campus missionary, two at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD and one at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.
I then moved back to Bellevue and was very blessed to accept a job as the youth minister for St. Mary’s. I worked at St. Mary’s for 6 years and dabbled in all sorts of other parish ministries. Being able to serve the teens and families at my own parish as youth minister was a wonderful grace and blessing.
In my free time, I enjoy reading, movies, Husker football, ping-pong and frisbee golf. I also enjoy traveling, hiking and other outdoor activities. Second only to the gift of faith, my family is my greatest treasure They are a huge part of my life and have been very supportive of my desire to enter seminary. Along with my parents, I have four amazing sisters and two nephews. We spend lots of time enjoying meals, telling stories, and laughing a ton.
As far as I can remember, I have always been open to the possibility of priesthood but never thought about it seriously until later in college. Even as a FOCUS missionary, where vocational discernment is supported and encouraged, I was still unsure about the path God had laid out for me. Once I moved home and started youth ministry, my discernment seemed to take a backseat to all the day-to-day demands of parish life. Finally, at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, I felt the Lord was very loudly but patiently asking me to take a serious look at entering seminary. Throughout that year, I had received various affirmations (both in prayer and in other ways) that the priesthood was something I might be called to. I recognized in my own heart that God had placed a desire there for priesthood and I needed to investigate further. And so I did.
I am currently enrolled at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, but doing a pastoral internship for one year in a parish in my home diocese.
For any guys who may be discerning seminary (or are at least open to the possibility), I would encourage you to pray, first and for most; set time aside every day to spend with Jesus in silence so you can experience His loving call for you, whatever your vocation might be. Secondly, get information. Talk with your parish priest, the vocation director or one of us seminarians. I had misconceptions that were cleared up once I talked with people who knew more than I did about the seminary experience. Finally, in the words of St. John Paull II – “Be not afraid!” Our faith journey has the potential to be an incredible adventure, but it involves risk, trust, sacrifice, and surrender. Jesus knows that, and He desires to walk with us through all of it. He knows intimately who we are and what the Father has planned for us. So do not be afraid to say yes.