Parish: St. Robert of Newminster, Shorewood
Seminary: Saint Francis de Sales
Birthday: September 22
Intercessor: St. John Henry Newman
Tell us your vocation story.
My vocation story begins before I was Catholic. Raised in a faithful, evangelical Christian home, as a teenager I developed a love for theology and considered pursuing pastoral ministry. During this period, I also recall being inspired by the Apostle Paul’s exhortation in 1 Corinthians 7 that more people remain unmarried to serve the Lord with an undivided heart. Years later, at the end of a long intellectual journey into the Catholic Church, the thought of the priesthood came to mind. I moved into the JPII House of Discernment where I learned anew how to pray, and in that process I discerned a desire for deeper and more intimate communion with the Lord, which directed me toward the seminary and the priesthood.
What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?
The greatest challenge today is hearing the “still, small voice” of God speaking to the heart of the man through the raucous, distracting noise of the world. The only way to overcome this is to make time to remain before the Lord in prayer and silence, through which He will make known your deepest desires and show how they are fulfilled in Him.
What is your favorite psalm verse and why?
Picking one favorite verse is like picking a favorite child, but Psalm 36:9 has long been dear to me, as it was to my heroes, the Church Fathers: "For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” It is a beautiful image for the spiritual life, that we can only see the way forward when we are illuminated by and in God.
What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?
Reading, spending time with family and friends, playing basketball, and traveling.
Where do you like to go to pray?
The most profound experiences of prayer for me happen in the silence and solitude of my room or a small chapel, but I also like to pray outside while walking.
Where do you do your best studying?
In my room, surrounded by all my books, switching between my desk and my reading chair.
Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
The Theotokos, St. Peter, St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. John Henry Newman.