Parish: St. Frances Cabrini, West Bend
Seminary: Pontifical North American College - Rome, Italy
Birthday: June 18
Intercessor: St. Clement of Rome, St. Thomas Aquinas
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 grade school, but my faith began to really take off when I was in high school. I encountered the Catholic intellectual tradition through my youth minister and pastor, and at the same time, my faith grew in Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Over the years in high school and college, the various mission trips, Steubenville youth conferences, retreats, weekly holy hours, and prayer groups through my home parish helped me grow in friendship with the Lord. I attended the University of St. Thomas to study Catholic Studies and International Business, and it was there where I encountered an amazing community of young Catholics on fire for the faith. These wonderful friends encouraged my own life of prayer and discernment of my vocation. 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. Through prayer and the life of the Fraternity, it became clear to me that the Lord was calling me to go to seminary to discern a call to the priesthood. This invitation from Jesus was confirmed as I studied abroad my junior year of college in France and Italy. I entered St. John Vianney College Seminary in Minnesota for my senior year at St. Thomas, then completed a year of Pre-Theology formation at St. Francis de Sales Seminary, and finally have spent the last four years studying at the Pontifical North American College in 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?
“LORD, you have searched me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar. You sift through my travels and my rest; with all my ways you are familiar. Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all.” Psalm 139 has become a beautiful reminder to me of the Lord’s goodness and his constant pursuit of our hearts. He knows everything about us, and he loves us more than anyone else ever could.
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 running, cycling, hiking, kayaking, and bonfires.
Where do you like to go pray?
I best pray early in the morning or late at night in small, quiet chapels. I love to pray before Our Lord exposed in Eucharistic Adoration at my home parish in West Bend and at the seminary.
Where do you do your best studying?
I find that I do my best studying in the library or in my bedroom at the seminary. In general, I like to study in a space where I have room to spread out, sometimes walk around to think, and where I can step away from the distractions of life.
Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
St. Clement of Rome is the saint-name I took for Confirmation. He was a successor of St. Peter’s, the first Apostolic Father of the Church, and witness to the unity of the Roman Catholic Church. He was martyred for the faith by being tied to an anchor and cast into the sea.