School: Mundelein Seminary
1000 East Maple Avenue
Mundelein, IL 60060
I grew up in Canton, GA and have lived in the same house for my whole life – minus attending to the Seminary. I come from a fairly small immediate family consisting of my father, mother and my half-brother.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Some of my hobbies include photography, playing music (guitar and drums), and building computers. Youth ministry has always been a major love in my life. With some close friends who started a ministry called The Mobile Mission, we go out and put on retreats, lead talks and worship together in music.
What is one of your favorite scriptures?
I would have to say one of my all-time favorite scriptures is Matthew 14:22-33. This is the passage where Jesus calls Peter out of the boat and as Peter starts to doubt he starts to sink and Jesus says to him “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”. This passage has had numerous influences on my life as I have gone through different spiritual seasons.
Who is your favorite saint and why?
I would have to say my favorite Saint until recently was my Confirmation Saint – Saint Thomas Aquinas. I would have to say now it is Saint Pope John Paul II. I read a book on his life written by Jason Evert and it brought so much joy to my life and truly lit a fire in my soul for a zeal of youth.
In a nutshell, what is your vocation story? How did you feel called to the priesthood?
I first felt called to the priesthood in my 10th grade year at a Steubenville Atlanta conference. I promptly put it out of my mind and went on being a normal high school student. It wasn’t until college when I started coming back into my faith and walking the journey with good, wholesome friends that the thought started to creep little by little back into my mind. It was eventually the priest at my home parish that eventually called me out into the deep and challenged me to listen to what God had been clearly putting on my heart. It took a long time for me to finally listen to that call and it was not until I realized that the call I had received was to only give Jesus a chance to work in my heart. To go to the seminary and give everything to Him so as to further my own discernment.
What is seminary life like for you?
This is my first year at the seminary. So far life has been normal. Seminary is a place where you can become the best version of yourself while walking with brothers all seeking the same thing. We laugh, we joke, we play pranks but we also pray, study and further our relationship with Jesus.
What do you look forward to about being a priest?
For me I would say the thing I look forward to the most is getting to work with married couples in beautiful moments of their lives as well as the major struggles. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is my favorite as this is when I first truly encountered the true Mercy of Jesus Christ.
What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?
Give it a shot. Seriously, I spent many years staring down the face of the application process wondering what God was doing and why he was calling me to take this next step. The beautiful thing about the seminary is generally no one enters knowing from the get-go what God is calling him to. The Seminary is a place for you to continue discerning while getting the best formation and education the Church has to offer. What you will learn will make you a better person, priest or even husband and father. You won’t know what God is calling you to until you are willing to give Him everything.