Deacon Shayne Duvall
For Deacon Shayne Duvall, the path to priesthood was not a direct one from point A to point B.
It started out in a way familiar to many priests: being an altar server as a grade school student in his home parish. For Shayne, that was St. Lawrence Parish in Louisville, KY, where Fr. Bob Stuempel was pastor. In fact, Fr. Bob was the first to plant the seeds of priesthood. "I believe he and the great people of St. Lawrence Parish were God's instruments in fostering a vocation in me," Shayne says.
After high school, he earned a degree in justice administration from the University of Louisville and worked in the university's Sports Information Office and as a varsity high school basketball referee.
"After college, I worked as a counselor/case manager for a local community correctional facility called Dismas Charities. I was discerning priesthood seriously during this time and felt a call to return to my alma mater, Holy Cross High School, to teach sophomore and senior theology. The next school year I entered seminary formation."
He came to Saint Meinrad in 2009 to begin priesthood studies for the Archdiocese of Louisville. But after a few years, Shayne took a step back and returned to Louisville to discern his vocation further.
He used that time to work for the archdiocese as the coordinator of evangelization. He also worked as the public address announcer for the local AAA affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, the Louisville Bats. And he taught theology at his former high school. By the winter of 2012, he was on his way back to Saint Meinrad.
"The trust Fr. Denis [Robinson, OSB] and the formation staff had in me meant the world to me, because they knew I had to mature and ﬁgure out what God was calling me to do on my own. I did that, and nothing brought me greater joy than coming back to the Hill, happier and more conﬁdent that God is calling me to be a priest," explains Shayne.
"Being at Saint Meinrad has changed my life in a lot of ways. My spiritual life and my prayer life have deepened and strengthened. My awareness of self has grown and matured because of the great opportunities we have, such as spiritual direction and counseling."
Now in his final year of studies as a deacon, Shayne is looking ahead to his ordination next spring. He especially looks forward to preaching and teaching - two areas he believes are most important to his ministry.
"I love working with the youth and young adults, both in the classroom and in the parish setting. I spent some time teaching high school theology and working in campus ministry, and it was an honor to help the youth and young adults discover their gifts and help them to discern their vocation in life."
"I think I have been given the gifts to be with people, no matter what paths they have taken in their lives, and to love them no matter what," he explains. "What better way to love and serve God than by loving and serving the people?"