Albany natives Fr. Aaron Nett and Neal Anderson visited with students of Holy Family School Jan. 29 about their vocation and discernment in celebration of Catholic Schools Week’s Vocations Day.

Students learned about the process of entering priesthood and what it meant to Nett to choose this path and also the process of discernment (whether to enter the seminary) in which Anderson is currently doing.

Nett and Anderson are both alumni of Holy Family School where their faith was enriched.

“I’m very blessed and thankful my parents sent me to Holy Family School,” Nett said.

It was not until later in life when Nett discovered his true calling. After graduating high school, he attended North Dakota State University where he received a degree in education.

“I didn’t really think about priesthood at the time,” he said.

Nett felt peace, happiness and clarity during prayer, but the decision to enter priesthood was still unclear. Although he enjoyed his teaching and coaching career, he was still searching.

“I prayed the prayer for guidance every day,” he said. “While I was at the adoration chapel at St. Anthony in St. Cloud, a man left a note in the chapel that said, ‘if you’re interested in the priesthood, call this number.’”

To Nett, it was a sign needed to pursue his vocation. After spending six years in seminary school, he was ordained in 2014. He is now a pastor at Assumption Catholic Church in Eden Valley and St. Anthony Catholic Church in Watkins.

“I have a unique calling and privilege,” he said. “My children are the people I serve.”

Now Nett is sure of his calling in life and is happy with the path God has chosen for him.

For Anderson, he continues to search for his vocational calling. Anderson is a senior at St. John’s University and will graduate in May with a degree in theology. As part of his discernment process, he is joining a national Catholic young adult outreach program called FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). This Catholic collegiate outreach’s mission is to “share the hope and joy of the gospel with college and university students, inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered evangelization, discipleship and friendships in which they lead others to do the same.”

Anderson plans to participate in this college program to continue growing in his faith and encouraging other college students to grow closer to God. At the same time, he hopes that this experience will help him discern the possibility of entering the seminary and possibly becoming a priest someday.