School: Theological College (Washington, DC)
Year of Study: Pastoral Year (Theology III)
Home City: College Place, WA
Home Parish: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
What are your interests and hobbies?
I love music, both playing it and listening to it. I play the piano and the upright bass, and was actually a music major before joining seminary. I enjoy cooking, and I especially enjoy eating good cooking. I like movies and movie soundtracks, I even applied to film school before seminary. I enjoy playing and watching sports, my favorites being baseball and golf. I really appreciate a fine cigar every now and then. Finally, I have a great love for cars, especially exotic and/or rare cars.
Who is your favorite saint and why?
There are many saints that are important to me for various reasons, but perhaps my favorite saint is St. Joseph, the father of the Holy Family. Joseph presents a powerful example of what it means to be a good father. He is quiet, he is a strong protector and provider for his family, he is loving towards and self-sacrificial on behalf of his family, and he is completely obedient to God’s will in his life. As I move closer to becoming a father myself, I look to St. Joseph as my model.
When did you first started thinking about being a priest? What made you move forward to pursue this vocation?
I had thoughts of being a priest from a very young age, before I knew anything about what the priesthood really is. As I got older this desire came and went at different stages of my life. During my senior year of high school, two newly-ordained priests were assigned to my home parish that had a great effect on me. They were young enough and I was old enough that we could relate in a friendly way; I could see these priests as peers and not just superiors. They really demonstrated to me the human side of the priesthood, and helped me to realize that you don’t have to stop being yourself to be a priest. After graduation, I went to college for a while to try and avoid my vocation and find some other passion, but in the end I just couldn’t find anything that appealed to me in the way that the idea of priesthood did. So, I decided to just give seminary a try.
What do you look forward to most about being a priest?
I look forward to the intimate relationships that a priest is able to have with people, specifically by being there with people at the moments of their greatest joy but also their moments of greatest sorrow. Also, I look forward to spending time with families and working to strengthen family life in my parish community. In a special way, I look forward to being a channel of God’s mercy and peace for others through the sacrament of reconciliation. Reconciliation has played a powerful role in my own life, and I am excited to help other people experience the sacrament as I have. Finally, I am looking forward to working with youth; helping them to build a personal relationship with Christ in their own hearts, and hopefully also showing them the human side of the priesthood, just as I was shown in my youth.
What advice would you give to other guys who are discerning the priesthood?
Don’t let fear stop you from joining the seminary. One of the most reassuring and helpful things I have learned during my years of formation is that God can call a man to seminary, even if God does not call that man to the priesthood. Seminary is a process of discernment of God’s will in your life; nobody wants to trick you into becoming a priest! There is a value to seminary that is distinct from priesthood, and if you spend any time in seminary at all, you will be better for it! It could be very possible that God is calling you to a vocation to the married life, but he desires that you learn something from seminary formation first. So, again, don’t let fear stop you from joining the seminary. You have nothing to lose, and much to gain.