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Seminarians from Toledo, Youngstown also formed in Cincinnati

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May 17, 2011

By David Eck

ARCHDIOCESE — Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West also forms men from other dioceses. Deacons Stephen Zeigler from the Diocese of Youngstown and Michael Roemmele from the Toledo diocese are members of the 2011 class.

Deacon Stephen C. Zeigler


 Deacon Stephen C. Zeigler (Courtesy photo)

Deacon Zeigler was the coordinator of spiritual care at a Youngstown nursing home in 2003 when he began to think about returning to religious life.

He had been a member of the Capuchin Franciscans from 1983-91 and had studied to be a priest. He was contemplating a return to the religious community when a priest friend suggested he consider a call to be a diocesan priest.

“Growing up, my family was very Catholic, and I was attracted to the priesthood,” Deacon Zeigler, 49, said. “It never left me.”

He was accepted for formation by the Youngstown diocese in 2006 and began his studies at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati.

A native of York, Pa., Deacon Zeigler returned to his hometown to become a social worker and substitute teacher after amicably leaving the Franciscans. He also worked in lay chaplaincy at a nursing home before accepting the job in Youngstown in 2001. He earned a bachelor’s degree in social and behavioral sciences from St. Charles Borromeo College in Cleveland in 1987.

“I definitely wrestled my whole life with [a call],” he said. “I was somewhat fulfilled but never felt true fulfillment.”   

Deacon Zeigler will be ordained to the priesthood June 25 at the Cathedral of St. Columba in Youngstown. He will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving June 26 at St. Michael Church in Canfield.


Deacon Michael P. Roemmele

Deacon Michael P. Roemmele (Courtesy photo)

Deacon Roemmele spent most his life wanting to be a priest, even as a child “playing Mass.” His cousins would portray women religious.


As a student at Central Catholic High School in Toledo, however, he thought he wanted to pursue a career in business. The desire to be a priest soon returned.


“I re-evaluated what true success was, which is doing God’s will,” he said. “The call just went to the back of my mind. The priests and administrators in the high school brought it back to the forefront.”


With the support of his parents, Michael and Kathleen, he applied to the Toledo diocese for formation immediately after high school. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus.


He credits the priests in his life for nurturing his vocation.


“I had a lot of priests growing up who were good role models for me,” he said. “I always looked up to them.”


Deacon Roemmele, 27, will be ordained to the priesthood June 25 at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo. His first Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated June 26 at St. Rose Church in Perrysburg.

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