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Monday, December 1, 2008

Central Michigan University SGA vice president attending seminary after graduation

From CM Life.com
By Dana DeFever

On a typical Thursday night, Brad Sjoquist is at St. Mary's Catholic Parish, kneeling among his peers while leading them in the Rosary.

The weekly gathering of the Catholic fellowship group is practice for what he will devote his life to.

In May, the Student Government Association vice president will graduate with Spanish and psychology majors and a philosophy minor. Afterward, he plans to go on to study to become a priest at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He currently is in the process of being accepted.

"That is sort of where I'll be the happiest right now," the Kingsford senior said. "My faith is really what animates me."

Religion a top priority

Sjoquist has spent a lot of time contemplating his decision and in the end, its pros outweighs the cons, he said.

As a priest, Sjoquist would be working with people during their happiest and saddest moments. Investing in people, whether making time to have lunch with good friends or praying for those around him, is what fuels Sjoquist.

The Rev. Will Prospero at St. Mary's said Sjoquist possesses such qualities as humility and makes an effort to get to know and see God in all people. Sjoquist also has a generous spirit, and volunteers within the parish, he said.

"A man of his gifts could be intimating to some people. He's humble," Prospero said. "He truly has the heart of a servant."

Sjoquist considered attending law school before deciding to go into the seminary. However, as much as he considered other options, he knew neither choice would make him as happy in the long run.

Close friend and roommate Sean Nolan said he was not surprised by Sjoquist's decision.

"I think that is a big part of who Brad is," the Muskegon senior said.

Sjoquist has had a great effect on those around him, including Nolan.

Nolan said Sjoquist helped him grow as a Catholic by praying together, encouraging him to go to confession and simply answering questions that Nolan had.

"He pushes in a good kind of way. It's encouraging," Nolan said.

Before coming to Central Michigan University, Sjoquist deliberated about going into the seminary right out of high school. But after receiving the Centralis Scholar Award - a full-ride scholarship - he decided to attend CMU.

"Central was one of the last places I wanted to come," Sjoquist said. "It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made."

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