Alumnus Father Ed Herzog '10, '11, will fill the position of associate chaplain at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School (BCCHS) and parochial vicar at Christ the King Parish in Wichita, Kansas, beginning June 19.
Herzog hails from New York and attended Newman University from 2007 to 2011. He received his bachelor's degree in 2010 and his master's in 2011, both in business administration. During his time at Newman, he was inspired to become a priest.
"Growing up I didn’t have a priest who was an active part of my life," he said. "It wasn’t until I came to Newman that I really got to know a priest on both a spiritual and human level."
Herzog's main goal is to connect with students as a friend as well as a priest. Being able to speak to a priest, especially about things like movies and sports, was a foreign concept to him as a young adult and he hopes that is not the case with his students.
During his time in seminary, Herzog taught high school juniors and seniors and had decidedly found his calling. He said, "Working with and teaching high schoolers was the thing that cemented my vocation, so to speak. Now, for me to have the opportunity to do that on a day-to-day basis is exciting."
He will be working with students at BCCHS as well as the kindergarten through eighth-grade students at the parish.
What may help Herzog relate to some students is the fact that he didn't always find religion to be the epicenter of his being. During his high school years, he said attending Mass and learning about Jesus was seemingly boring. But he said that while in college, understanding the purpose of Jesus and the Church changed his view and ultimately, his life.
He found that faith is "life-giving in the truest sense of the word" and he hopes to bring that same joy he encountered during his time at Newman to his students.
"I hope to show the kids that the purpose of the Church is to bring them closer to Jesus and help them grow in holiness and virtue," explained Herzog. "Yet at the same time, I hope to show them that those things, contrary to public opinion, are actually exciting and life-giving. That Jesus and the Church give our lives a true direction and purpose, which is something that every human heart longs for."
Balancing time commitments at both BCCHS and the parish won't be easy for Herzog, but he plans to take advantage of as many opportunities as he can. Saying no sometimes may be tough, but he knows it's an inevitable part of splitting his time between two organizations.
Though he looks forward to his new assignments, he is finding it hard to say goodbye to St. Margaret Mary Parish, his current assignment.
"Preparing for the priesthood, I knew the hardest part of my life would be transitioning from one parish to another," he said.
He has built great relationships with individuals, families, students and staff in his one year at the parish and knows his new assignments will offer him the same opportunity.
As a New York native, Herzog hasn't had much experience with the parishes or schools in the Wichita Diocese.
He said, "One of the first things I learned about Catholics in the city of Wichita is that there is a bit of a rivalry between Bishop Carroll and Kapaun (Mt. Carmel High School) — the two Catholic high schools here in Wichita. Being from outside of the diocese I have never had a dog in the fight so to speak, but I guess that is about to change here in the coming months.
"Bishop Carroll already has such a strong reputation when it comes to the likes of academics, athletics and their overall commitment to educating kids after the example of Jesus Christ. Honestly, I just hope that I can continue to carry on the great tradition that precedes me by using the gifts that God has given me to forward the teachings and joy that come from following Christ and his Church."