School: Notre Dame Seminary2901 S. Carrollton AvenueNew Orleans, LA 70118
I was born and raised in a loving family in the Dunwoody area of North Atlanta. My father passed away in 1997 and my mother remarried about 10 years ago and lives in the Alpharetta area. I have one sister who is married with two girls. She lives with her husband and family in the Buckhead area of Atlanta.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I enjoy watching SEC football. I am a big UGA fan! I like watching sports and hanging out with family and friends.
What is one of your favorite scriptures?
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 18:30-31. It is so beautiful and mysterious how God so often uses the weak, seemingly insignificant, and even rejected people of this world, as well as our own personal weaknesses to render us completely dependent on His merciful love and grace.
Who is your favorite saint and why?
I would have to say Saint Maximilian Kolbe. I entered the church on his feast day. (August 14th 2012.) I have always been so inspired by the power of Christ’s love made manifest through His life. And I have also been inspired by his devotion to Our Lady. Kolbe’s devotion to the Blessed Mother has really inspired me to also develop a strong relationship with her.
In a nutshell, what is your vocation story? How did you feel called to the priesthood?
Inspired by my sister’s conversion to Catholicism in 2008, while I was in a protestant seminary, I started studying and considering the Christian life and Christ’s Church from a Catholic theological perspective. Ultimately this led me to convert to Catholicism shortly after graduating from my protestant seminary. I realized through a period of discernment that all the longings I had to radically surrender my life to Christ, live a simple and generous life, and share my faith through preaching and teaching might be ultimately fulfilled in the Catholic Priesthood. So once again I was off to seminary.
What is seminary life like for you?
I really enjoy studying and learning theology. So I love all the theology I am learning. And I am constantly inspired and challenged by all the devotion, sacrifice, and commitment I see in the lives of my brother seminarians. While I love to learn, I am increasingly looking forward to being able to serve God’s people on a full time basis in a Parish.
They do keep us really busy at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. I have a very full schedule with classes, academic assignments, pastoral and spiritual formation programs, and last but not least the fraternal and social life of the seminary.
What do you look forward to about being a priest?
I am really looking forward to being the spiritual father of an entire parish of people. I love the idea of being able to spend time with my spiritual family and witness and participate in the life of the Triune God as He forms people more fully into His beloved sons and daughters. And I am particularly attracted to seeing Christ formed in the lives of the poor, as well as learning and growing from witnessing the power of God’s mercy present in their spiritual poverty.
What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?
Pray, study, and serve in your parish! Serve at the altar but also if possible in lay leadership and particularly teaching roles. God can really use all of these things to reveal and confirm to you if you are indeed called to the Priesthood. In addition ask your family and friends if they think God might be calling you to the Priesthood. And if possible seek out a priest who can become your spiritual director.