Every pastor is perhaps a bit of a teacher at heart. They may not use a chalkboard or take attendance every morning, but by their life they model for students the calling in their hearts.
For Rev. Shane Deman, his first assignment as a Roman Catholic priest brought with it everyday interaction with the students as St. Edmond’s School in Fort Dodge. It’s something he will surely miss when this teacher becomes a student again next fall.
“I certainly enjoy working with the students. I like their enthusiasm and their energy,” says Father Shane, as students and parishioners call the young man in his early 30s.
To students accustomed to priests the age of their fathers — or even grandfathers — a priest much closer to their own generation has been a welcome influence.
“I like the questions that students have,” says Father Shane. “They’re not afraid to ask questions about morality, about scriptural interpretations. I sense a deep craving in them to understand the faith well, and so I really appreciate that and want to try and respond the best I can.”
A Sioux City native, Deman earned undergraduate degrees in vocal music and philosophy at the University of St. Thomas, Twin Cities, before moving on to Rome for seminary.
Following ordination, his assignment to Fort Dodge was one he never expected, but truly enjoyed.
“Many priests often say that their first assignment is their best, in that you come right out of seminary and the people that you serve help you understand what spiritual fatherhood is — so I’ve been truly grateful to the people of Holy Trinity Parish and St. Edmond School,” he says.
And Father Shane adds that even he was a bit surprised this spring when he learned that the Bishop of the Sioux City Catholic Diocese was sending him to Rome for an advanced degree. Deman will spend the next two years at the Jesuit-run Gregorian University pursuing a doctorate in theology.
“The bishop has asked me to focus on some themes in the new evangelization, which really highlights how does the church effectively engage the culture of the 21st century, especially here in our Western world,” Deman explains.
His time in Fort Dodge may have been relatively brief, but his spiritual influence will certainly be remembered.