Parish: St. Frances Cabrini, West Bend
Seminary: Pontifical North American College - Rome, Italy
Birthday: June 18
Intercessor: St. Clement of Rome & St. Thomas Aquinas
I’m a young extroverted Catholic man who loves people and wants to help others encounter the love of Jesus Christ through the beauty of the Church!
Tell us your vocation story:
My vocation was born from several encounters with Jesus in the Eucharist in high school. I grew up in a Catholic family and went to a Catholic School, but my faith began to really take off when I was in high school. I began to encounter the great Catholic Intellectual Tradition in my youth group and, at the same time, Jesus in the Eucharist. Over the years at mission trips, youth conferences, and back home in my parish; I grew deeply in friendship with the Lord in prayer. In the fall of 2014, I went to the University of St. Thomas to study Catholic Studies and International Business. Immediately in my freshman year, I encountered a life-changing community of young Catholics on fire for the beautiful integration of faith and reason. I lived in a Catholic Studies Men’s Fraternity under the patronage of St. Michael the Archangel where I learned the importance of brotherhood, prayer, study, and charity. After living in the Fraternity and growing in prayer, it became clear to me that the Lord was calling me to go to seminary to discern a call to the priesthood. I was blessed to encounter the Lord deeply while studying abroad 2016-2017 in France and Italy. I entered St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul for my senior year at St. Thomas and most recently completed a year of Pre-Theology formation at St. Francis de Sales Seminary before going to Rome.
What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?
I think the greatest challenge facing young men today is the culture’s constant fear of missing out. We must be men of decision rooted deeply in silent prayer before the Eucharist. Jesus calls each of us personally to step out of the boat and to follow him with our lives. We must trust that he will show us the way, and by following him, that he will make us more fully human.
What is your favorite psalm verse and why?
Psalm 42: “As a deer longs for streams of water so my soul longs for you, O God.” I am often captivated in prayer with the beautiful image this psalm paints of the soul’s thirst for God, who alone can quench the infinite thirst for happiness.
What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?
I love to be with people, to read good books, to study languages, to travel, to appreciate the arts, and to do outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and bonfires.
Where do you like to go pray?
I best pray early in the morning or late at night in small chapels. At St. Francis de Sales, I love the prayer balcony. More than anything, I love to pray before Our Lord exposed in Eucharistic Adoration.
Where do you do your best studying?
I find that I do my best studying in a large room surrounded by hundreds of great books where my mind can think BIG and soak in all of the wisdom of the ages.
Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
St. Clement of Rome & St. Thomas Aquinas. Clement is the name I took for Confirmation, and Aquinas has become a great friend to me over the years at the University of St. Thomas.