Tell us your vocation story.
I grew up in New Berlin, WI, and my family consists of my mom, dad, and younger brother Paul. I attended Catholic schools from grades K-12, but I didn’t take my relationship with God seriously during that period of my life. Growing up, I loved playing sports and hanging out with friends and still enjoy both of those things. In high school, I was focused on volleyball, tennis and academics. When I got to college, I was very focused on school, a career, and partying. I went to UW-Madison where I studied accounting.
God slowly started to reveal a call to the priesthood during my time in college. During my 4th year, I went through a pretty big interior conversion and got very involved at St. Paul’s Catholic Center. The following summer (2016), I was invited by a friend to Cor Jesu at St. Robert’s in Shorewood. At Cor Jesu, I met Fr. Luke Strand and was encouraged by him and another priest to think about the priesthood.
Since then, priesthood has been on my radar. I spent 4 years after college working for FOCUS (The Fellowship of Catholic University Students) as a campus missionary at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Over that time as a missionary and during the first two years of seminary, I believe that Jesus has shown me repeatedly that He is inviting me to become a priest.
Jesus told us that the two greatest commandments are to love God and love others. At different moments over the last several years, the Holy Spirit has convicted me to live my life for God and for souls. While I often fall short, that is how I want to spend life, being poured out for God and His people. At the end of our lives, all that will matter is being with God in Heaven for all of eternity.
What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?
One big challenge is a lack of accompaniment for young men considering the seminary. It can be easy to let fears, confusion, or discouragement influence your decision making regarding taking a step towards the priesthood. The temptation is not to share those things with someone, but to keep them to yourself. It is very helpful to be able to talk with a good priest or spiritual director to discuss and share what you are going through because someone else can often see things in our lives much more clearly than we can.
What is your favorite Psalm verse and why?
Psalm 63 because it speaks of a soul thirsting for God. God created our hearts to be in union with Him which is why seeking fulfillment from things other than God doesn’t satisfy us. This psalm helps remind me to keep my life directed towards God. It helps remind me that my heart is made for Him.
What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?
I enjoy playing sports and getting together with friends or family. Basketball is currently my favorite sport to play. I also enjoy silence and solitude – time away from the noise and busyness of life – whether that is going for walks or going for car rides.
Where do you like to go pray?
In a chapel during Eucharistic Adoration.
Where do you do your best studying?
Anywhere that it is quiet – usually in the library.
Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa).