Father Jon Tveit

He Drew Inspiration From A Teacher and a Papal Mass

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Going to Mass as a child was not about faith, it was about singing for Father Jon Tveit.

“I always went to church growing up. I was in my church’s choir at a very young age,” he said. “When I was young, I did not have much personal faith. I did not learn the faith really well and understand it. So going to Mass to me was about singing.’’

Father Tveit, 27, began to better understand the faith as a student at Minisink Valley High School in Slate Hill and Boston College with an additional ‘spark’ coming from attending Pope Benedict XVI’s Mass at Yankee Stadium in 2008.

One year after graduating from Boston College, Father Tveit entered the seminary.

“I started to think I may get called to the seminary. Around the same time, Pope Benedict visited the United States and I was able to go to his Mass at Yankee Stadium. There was grace coming from that visit,” he said.

Father Tveit continued to reflect back to high school and college when he better understood the faith.

“I had a teacher at Minisink in 10th grade who was Catholic,” Father Tveit said. “He got me to start thinking about the faith in our interactions inside and outside of class. Obviously, it was a public school and he wasn’t preaching the faith, but I could see there was something about what he stood for. I started to think about the faith and started to see it made sense intellectually, but it took a few more years.

“When I was at Boston College, I had a deeper conversion of the heart, especially through the beauty of the liturgy, sacred architecture and sacred music. I was really able to experience the faith and Christ for the first time in a real way.”

Father Tveit is hoping to share his experience with the faith and Christ to bring people back to the Church.

“Somebody could be depressed or inspired to get out and evangelize to do something,’’ he said of the decreasing number of people practicing the faith. “I feel a call, especially for those who may have fallen away. In many ways, it’s because they didn’t really understand the beauty of the faith and what Christ is offering us.’’

Father Tveit, who still enjoys singing and has been a coordinator for some of the music at the seminary, credits his family for planting the seed of the Catholic faith in him. He is the son of Stanley and Rosemarie Tveit and the brother of Aaron.

“I’m very blessed and was given a great gift to have a family as loving and supportive as I do. My parents raised us well. So much of who I am comes from my parents and my faith,” he said.

“Three of my grandparents are still with us. As I was coming to the faith in high school and college, I would see my one grandmother would go to daily Mass and both of my grandmothers would pray the Rosary very often. As I was coming to the faith, they had this quiet but consistent faith. To see their faith, it inspired me.”

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