By Tony DeGol
Family means the world to Jacob Gindhart.
As the second of seven children in the Gindhart clan, he especially cherishes his role as “big brother” to his younger siblings.
His father has a demanding career, and his mother homeschools the children, so Gindhart seizes the opportunity to be another “man of the house” and help out whenever he can.
“I’ve had all the fun siblings have together, but at the same time, I’ve had a lot of that responsibility, which has made me a lot closer to them,” he explained. “It adds another layer of depth to our relationship.”
Besides his amazing biological family, Gindhart is blessed to belong to another remarkable family that truly captures his heart and soul: the Catholic Church.
“The Church gives you a starting point from which you can draw morality, knowledge, and beauty,” he mentioned. “All of those things have poured over every aspect of my life. I’ve really experienced it in its fullness, which gives me a joy that I found was lacking when I tried to follow other things. The Catholic Church gives you the most joy at the end of the day.”
Gindhart is a seminarian for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. This past spring, he graduated from Gannon University and Saint Mark College Seminary in Erie after spending the past two years there studying Philosophy.
This fall, he will move on to the next chapter of his education and priestly formation at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore.
A member of Queen of Peace Parish in Patton, Gindhart is embracing the opportunity.
“The last two years have brought me the most growth, change, and happiness that I’ve ever experienced, so I cannot be more excited to see what four more years of seminary formation will do,” he said.
Gindhart’s time at seminary comes with a price tag.
Anyone who has pursued higher education or supported children or grandchildren on that journey knows the sticker shock of tuition bills.
So, too, does the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, which assists its future priests with their seminary expenses.
In addition to Gindhart, the diocese is blessed to have four other men in priestly formation right now, and hopefully others entering very soon. Without question, educating these men is a significant financial commitment for the Church.
The 2020 Catholic Ministries Drive, titled “Ignite Your Faith for Christ’s Mission,” continues through the coming months.
By contributing to the campaign, the faithful can prayerfully and financially support seminarians on their education journey, for which Gindhart and other future priests of Altoona-Johnstown are truly grateful.
Every dollar donated to the CMD supports ministries under the following umbrellas: Forming Clergy and Laity; Nurturing our Youth; and Caring for the Poor and Strengthening Families.
As he gets ready to begin the next phase of his formation in the fall, Gindhart very much looks forward to the day when he is not only a cool big brother to his siblings, but also a spiritual father to all.
“Seminary is allowing me to experience the impact I can have on the entire world,” he stated.
Place your gift to the 2020 Catholic Ministries Drive in your parish offertory; mail it directly to the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, P.O. Box 409, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648; or donate online at www.dioceseaj.org/giving.
[Photo: Seminarian Jacob Gindhart with some of his siblings at the 2019 Chrism Mass.]