School: St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary 10701 S. Military Trail Boynton Beach, FL 33436
I was born in Atlanta but grew up in Marietta, where my family attended the Catholic Church of St. Ann. I have two wonderful parents and two awesome siblings, and I have a brother (19) and sister (10). I love them very much.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I enjoy sporting activities of many kinds such as basketball, weightlifting, swimming, running, and others. Because I am a very bland person, I do not have any interesting hobbies. My day typically consists of exercise, prayer, eating, sleeping, reading, and sometimes, I let the Lord lead me to serve others in some small way.
What is one of your favorite scriptures?
“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.” Mt 5:8
Who is your favorite saint and why?
My favorite saint is obviously Saint Mary, Mother of God, and I pray to her more than I pray to any other saint. Other than Mary, I find great assistance from Saint Anthony in finding lost items because I often misplace my belongings. Saint Sebastian is also a very dear saint. In high school, my football and basketball teams would often pray to Saint Sebastian, the patron saint of athletes, before games and at the end of practices. Because of this, I chose Saint Sebastian as my confirmation saint. A fun fact about Saint Sebastian was that he was so strong that he had to be executed twice by Emperor Diocletian. My prayer to him goes as follows: “Saint Sebastian, pray that I may give my all in my athletic endeavors, that I will be a soldier for the Lord, and that I may not be secretive about my faith.”
In a nutshell, what is your vocation story? How did you feel called to the priesthood?
I started growing very intrigued by the priesthood in high school at Blessed Trinity by studying theology and being immersed in a Catholic environment. Because of sports, I had a fairly regimented and simple lifestyle. I also developed a desire to serve others in the summers of my high school years, while on week-long mission trips to Nicaragua and El Salvador. More tangibly, I sought out service in my home life with my family by seeking out ways to help around our house, especially doing dishes, vacuuming, and mowing our lawn. I feel called to the priesthood, I think I am very predisposed to the priestly life because of these two desires: simplicity and service.
What is seminary life like for you?
I like seminary life because I am very free from outside distractions. A typical day includes meals, prayer time, mass, classes, homework and exercise. While life can be very busy, it is also relaxing and prayerful. It is also similar to living in a fraternity house. I lived in a fraternity house for the past two years at Georgia Tech but the seminarian house is far more prayerful and each fraternity brother has the exact same career goals.
What do you look forward to about being a priest?
A priest once told me that the Church needs donkeys. In a way, I consider myself a little like Donkey from the movie Shrek, but that was not what he meant. Rather, he said, as the donkey is unyielding and dependable in his work in the fields, so the Church needs men with stubborn faithfulness to their work in celebrating the sacraments. Consequently, I look forward to being the best donkey I can be.
What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?
In Mt 7:7, Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” While he is mainly speaking
about prayer, he is also alluding to the action of ‘seeking’. In order to seek and find, a person discerning a vocation to the ministerial priesthood must go to seminary in order to further discern that call. In that sense, my answer is quite simple and while it is difficult abandon your own desires, consolation will come from trusting in the Lord and putting your prayers into action by applying for seminary.