Andrew Buchanan ’13

A Servant Leadership Spotlight on Andrew Buchanan ’13

Andrew Buchanan ‘13 was ordained as a Catholic deacon in early April. Buchanan majored in Theology and minored in History. He says the years he spent at USF were some of the most formative years of his life.

“I still keep in contact with several people from St. Francis whom I am blessed to call my friends. I pray daily for the university,” he assured.

Buchanan did not grow up Catholic—rather, he was raised in a Protestant home where his parents taught him and his sister the importance of God and living a good life. His interest in Catholicism and the priesthood began in high school at a time when he was struggling with various religious and moral questions.

One morning while watching television, he landed on the EWTN Catholic television network. Over the next few months, he found himself continually visiting the station, watching the Mass and learning about the Catholic Church. He felt he had found the truth and decided to convert during his senior year.

“It took two years to gain the courage and opportunity to tell my parents that I wanted to not only convert, but that I was also interested in being a priest. The revelation shocked them, but they and my whole family were very supportive. When I began attending the University of St. Francis, my sense of a possible calling to the priesthood became more evident. After working for a year after my graduation, I decided to enter the seminary,” said Buchanan.

He feels the best thing and most challenging thing about being a seminarian are the same—seeking to live in accord with God’s loving will. But the challenge only made him stronger and more prepared for what lies ahead as he looks forward to his ordination as a priest next May. Buchanan noted that St. Francis of Assisi embraced radical poverty, lived celibately, and was obedient to the Church in a radical way. All of this speaks to St. Francis’ humility, which found him giving up all that he had and emptying his life of all of those things which would keep him from God.

“This example of humility remains inspiring to me as I seek to be a leader in the Church. Though I am not called to the same radical poverty that St. Francis was, I am called to live humbly, casting those things out of my life which induce to pride and thus draw me away from God. For me to truly be a leader in the Church, I must first always recognize that I am called to be a humble servant—demonstrating an ardent desire to imitate Christ, who first served us,” he said.