School: Mundelein Seminary 1000 East Maple Avenue Mundelein, IL 60060
I grew up in McDonough, Georgia; when I was little is was mostly wooded but as I grew up so did the area and more diversity began to grow my hometown into a melting pot in its own right. In my family I am the oldest of three children, two boys and one girl, my father has worked for delta airlines all of my life and my mother works in the local parish as a preschool teacher and faith formation assistant.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Some hobbies I enjoy are hiking out in nature and seeing all the life in creation that surrounds us and also collecting books of my favorite authors, even if it takes me several years till I get a chance to read them. Some of my interests are studying spirituality, particularly Franciscan and Ignatian spirituality.
What is one of your favorite scriptures?
Luke 10:20 “Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Who is your favorite saint and why?
St. Francis of Assisi is my go to guy, and that is mainly because he is my patron saint that I chose for Confirmation. His way of peace has always attracted to me and at the time I fancied myself as a bit of a rebel and hearing his story of rejecting his father’s riches to follow Christ caught my attention and seized hold of my heart. And since then He has come to the fore time and time again to show me the way on my journey to following Christ; so much so that whenever his name or order come up in my life I pay attention because nine times out of ten it is St. Francis nudging me along my spiritual path.
In a nutshell, what is your vocation story? How did you feel called to the priesthood?
The very basic story is that I converted from a lifestyle that viewed God as the oppressor and tyrant ruling over us all, to finding myself in a position where I needed a change and of all things to be before me in that moment there was a crucifix and in an instance I realized I had it all wrong and that God was there the whole time through my struggles and He had, and still is, fighting the good fight on my behalf as my liberator. I felt called to the priesthood in 10th grade just before confirmation but the next 10 years I spent it running away and doing my best to avoid answering that call until one night, in my sixth year of undergrad at UWG, I had a dream where basically God laid my life out before me and showed me how everything thing from my education, struggles, joys and skill set was all pointing at me to lay down my life for His children and the Church.
What is seminary life like for you?
This is my first year in the program, but so far it has been wonderful to meet men, just like myself who are wrestling with this call from the Lord.
What do you look forward to about being a priest?
What I am looking forward to as a priest is just being that physical presence of God for people all various moments in their lives and to show the truth of the love of Christ for all peoples.
What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?
My advice would be to know that they are not alone that there are more men out there like them hearing the God calling them to attend to thoughts about priesthood. And to go up to their parish priest and express that they have this movement within them pulling them towards the priesthood.