Parish: St. Anthony Parish, Milwaukee
Seminary: Saint Francis de Sales
Birthday: January 15
Intercessor: St. John the Evangelist
I like people, but I’m more reserved than outgoing. I trust in God’s love for me, his ability to heal me and others.
Tell us your vocation story:
The priesthood was on my radar for awhile in high school and at college, but I pushed it away and thought about other things. I didn’t want to be one of those people who are “discerning;” it seemed like a sign of weakness. During my second year of grad school, in prayer and in a couple of good talks that I heard, I recognized myself as Peter from the Gospel story: I saw that I was standing in the boat, asking Christ to call me out on the water, but I hadn’t yet taken time (or hadn’t been willing) to hear him and answer. I took some time, talked to close friends about it and got regular advice from a great Salesian priest. I decided to step out of grad school and apply to the seminary.
What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?
The greatest challenge for a man considering the seminary is impatience; we want God either to call us right now and make everything clear or leave us alone so we can get on with our lives. We have to adopt a mentality where we decide to take seriously our reflection on God’s calling in our lives. He doesn’t call everyone to the seminary. However, God is always touching our lives through our friends and through prayer. We have to take time and reflect honestly on where that’s leading us. It helps to be accountable to someone like a spiritual director because we’re not always sincere with ourselves. You also just have to be patient and think regularly about how God is guiding you. I think that for many men that waiting can be frustrating.
What is your favorite psalm verse and why?
“When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, and the moon and stars that you set in place – what is man that you are mindful of him, and a son of man that you should care for him?” (Ps. 8:4-5)
What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?
Playing sports like basketball and soccer or hiking, backpacking, etc.
Where do you like to go pray?
I like the chapel, but sometimes I like to go down by the lake at night and look at the Milwaukee skyline. I pray well there.
Where do you do your best studying?
Probably the Salzmann library, especially the back room with the old chairs.
Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
St. John, the beloved disciple.