Tell us your vocation story.
I originally started discerning my vocation to the priesthood in second grade, because my twin brother had decided before me that he wanted to become a priest. I then decided to bandwagon on his idea and also said that I wanted to become a priest.
During this time, my home parish, St. Charles Borromeo in Hartland, had different young assistant pastors and seminarians. These men, who were all filled with grace and love, also had a great joy about them that radiated to their actions. My family and I had the opportunity to come to know some of these men, like Fr. Patrick Burns and Fr. Patrick Behling. During this time, I attended some summer vacation camps at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary. Eventually my brother stopped discerning, but I decided to continue and kept it open in my heart. In elementary and middle school I was lucky enough to be close to the sacraments, consistently going to Mass on Thursday and on Sunday with my family. I also had the opportunity to go to adoration about once a month, during school. I also tried to make time to go to confession at least once a month, often going to Holy Hill. Being an acolyte and getting the opportunity to serve during the mass along with other experiences worked to bring me closer to entering seminary.
After entering highschool, at Marquette High, I tried for a while to put off that I was discerning priesthood. I started participating in campus ministry, became an acolyte, and I was still receiving the sacraments just as much as I had previously, but I didn’t just go around saying I wanted to be a priest right away. I joined the pro life club and spent some time on Saturdays praying outside of abortion clinics. I was also in a prayer group, with several other students, in which we discussed our prayer lives and read Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales. Freshman and sophomore year of high school I went to homecoming with girls I just considered friends, but I did not want to pursue a relationship with them. During this time my family was assigned to be a part of the teaching committee for Fr. Timothy Schumaker. Fr. Tim has been and is a great inspiration for me, allowing me to see a little bit more of the life and role of a seminarian.
At the end of my junior year I went to another high school vocation camp at Saint Francis. This time more than any of the other camps, I felt a very strong calling and after more prayer I started my application.
What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?
The greatest challenge of a man facing seminary is the fear within his own heart of what friends, family, and the culture thinks about him. Even when a man's prayer, spirit, and calling are there, having the confidence and faith to enter seminary can be hard. Receiving support in the smallest ways, particularly knowing others are praying for you can make all the difference.
What is your favorite Psalm verse and why?
Psalm 62:1-2: “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved.”
The beginning of this Psalm helps to remind me that God is not just the Savior of the world, but also my own Savior. It is in Him that I need to look to find my rest and in Him that I need to place my trust to find holiness.
What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?
I love working out, primarily weightlifting in the gym, but I have also started some cross fit exercises. Another big hobby is baking, especially elaborate cakes and lots of pies.
Where do you like to go pray?
My favorite place to pray is usually a quiet chapel, with just enough light for reading. I especially love being in adoration. When our Lord is exposed it seems like my prayer is so much more vivid and Christ seems more powerful.
Where do you do your best studying?
I do my best studying in my room, usually at my desk for computer work, or in a comfortable chair for lots of reading. I usually listen to Gregorian chants for background noise.
Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
St. Maria Goretti.