Parish: Basilica of St. Josaphat, Milwaukee
Seminary: St. Francis de Sales
Birthday: April 26
Intercessor: St. Padre Pio
A 23-year-old man trying to listen for and follow God's plan in my daily life.
Tell us your vocation story:
I had the idea of priesthood when I was a very young boy. I played Mass growing up and I even told some people that I was going to be a priest. As I grew up, however, the idea faded (or so I thought) and I continued on with my life through high school. I thought that priesthood was not for me, but serving at the Basilica kept the idea in my head, hidden for a while, yet still there. As the idea slowly worked its way back to the forefront of my thoughts, I decided I needed to do something about it. However, I wasn't ready to share this with my family and friends. I applied to Franciscan University of Steubenville, so that I could discern in secret. A providential meeting with my brother quickly showed me that Franciscan University would not work for me. At the last second, I switched to UW-Milwaukee. My first day there, I went to the Newman Center for a free dinner and ended up sitting across from none other than Vocation Director, Father Luke Strand. The next semester I moved into the JPII House of Discernment and I applied and was accepted by St. Francis de Sales Seminary for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?
The greatest challenge of a man considering the seminary would be trying not to think about what would happen if he does not go the distance. Seminary is a place to discern fully if the call you feel is truly God's call. While you go into seminary hoping and praying that you will be ordained, the ultimate goal is to find God's call for you. Stressing about what-if's can paralyze you and prevent growth in your life and your relationship with the Lord. Discernment is a slow process and relies on trusting in God's plan, not yours.
What is your favorite psalm verse and why?
I do not really have a favorite psalm verse, but I love the night prayer psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours. They all talk about trusting in the Lord even when all seems lost and they remind me that He is always by my side.
What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?
Playing sports, reading, being with family and friends, and any outdoor or physical activity.
Where do you like to go to pray?
I love to go into churches during the middle of the day, when no one is there, and sit quietly with our Lord.
Where do you do your best studying?
In my room, usually, where it is quiet and there is nothing there to distract me.
Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
St. Padre Pio. I do not know too much about him, yet his words, "pray, hope and don't worry," really strikes me as a seminarian quote. We all need to pray for our vocation, hope that we are on the right path and not worry, but trust in God's plan.