Tell us your vocation story:
I first heard the call to priesthood when I attended the St. Andrew Dinner at Saint Francis de Sales in December of 2018. Seeing the authentic joy that simply radiated from the seminarians struck me; I really wanted that kind of lasting joy in my heart. However, the idea of priesthood terrified me, because I didn’t feel worthy of the call. I prayed about it very safely for about a month, asking God for some huge sign that he wanted me to do this, which never came.
While I hadn’t yet actively discerned my vocation, God still spoke to my hardened heart. I received the Sacrament of Confirmation in April of 2019. I distinctly remember that, as soon the chrism touched my forehead, I heard God say, “You’re ready.”
I didn’t pray about my vocation again until July of 2019, when I attended a Catholic Heart Work Camp mission trip in Alexandria, Kentucky. After a day of service, my parish priest, who had taken me to the St. Andrew dinner, approached me and asked me what I planned to do once I graduated high school. In that moment, I was finally honest with myself, and said I didn’t know. We talked for a bit, and then he taught me how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. A day or two later, I was examining my conscience before Confession, and began to bawl in the chapel of the school where we stayed. I realized I had been planning my own life and not asking God about any of it. This gave me a lot of subconscious anxiety, and I believe once I gave my life to the Lord, the sheer relief is what caused me to cry. I walk to the confessional and sat down in front of the priest. This priest was from the area, and he had an incredible story of conversion and discernment that led him to the priesthood. We were face to face, and I laughed a little when he asked me what was wrong, as I thought about what kind of mess I looked like. I said my confession, then he and I had a conversation about my vocation. I remember leaving the confessional feeling weightless, and with a new purpose. I’ve been discerning since that day.
What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?
The greatest challenge is simply saying “yes.” Today, being a religious person is considered counter-cultural; discerning God’s vocation for your life is often too abstract for many people, even practicing Catholics. However, saying “yes” is about trusting God, not others or yourself, with your life- by doing so, you will become a model of faith and inspire others to have a deeper relationship with Christ.
What is your favorite Psalm verse and why?
Psalm 33:10-11 “The LORD foils the plan of nations, frustrates the designs of peoples. But the plan of the LORD stands forever, wise designs through all the nations.”
The verse reminds us that God’s plan is always greater; no matter how hard we may try to lead perfect lives and make all the right decisions, we ultimately must concede to the Lord’s will in our lives, because it is the happiest and most fruitful path for us.
What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?
Anything to do with music, especially singing and playing piano. I also enjoy gardening, organizing/cleaning, and teaching.
Where do you like to go pray?
Any church/chapel is my favorite place. I like praying early in the morning, when the buildings are still dimly lit and everything is calm, and seeing the sunlight rise as I pray. I especially love praying before the Blessed Sacrament in Eucharistic Adoration.
Where do you do your best studying?
In my room at my desk, or anywhere with lots of table space. I tend to spread out my materials so I can see everything I need to get done.
Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
St. Cecilia- patroness of musicians. Also, please pray that Jesus may draw me closer to His Sacred Heart as I am formed for the priesthood!