School: St. Joseph Seminary College
75376 River Road
St. Benedict, LA 70457
Tell us about where you grew up and your family background?
I was born and raised in Carrollton, Georgia, and attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. It was at this church that I was an altar server since first communion, a lector, and an extraordinary minister of the holy eucharist. My father, Tom, owns and operates a family owned print shop, which is where I learned what hard work means. My mother, April, helps out at the print shop, mostly on the computer to create plates for the printing press, and she also helps as a bus monitor for special needs students. My sister, Savannah, is going to college for nursing, and my brother, Scott, is going into the eighth grade this year.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I love to play guitar in my free time, which I have found, provides a little time to escape and relax. I started learning how to play guitar in middle school from many hours of watching YouTube videos after school, and I am glad I did because God shows us all that we have special gifts that he has given to us, and all we must do is uncover them. I am also very interested in learning Latin because growing up and talking to my grandmother about Vatican one was very interesting to see how the church operated.
What is one of your favorite scriptures?
One of my favorite scriptures is Colossians 3:2 “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” I feel like, especially in today’s society, we get to caught up in what is happening in the world with movies and nice cars, when we should be centered and focused on God.
Who is your favorite saint and why?
My favorite saint is Saint Paul the apostle. I started to learn about saint Paul’s life when I was going through the process of confirmation, and I was truly inspired by his transformation. When Jesus came to him on Damascus road and forever changed his life he lived as Saul to that of an evangelist that he lived from then on out as Paul, I knew that God has a greater purpose for my soul than I was originally thinking. Because of Saint Paul’s transformation and evangelization, I chose him as my confirmation saint.
What is your vocation story? How did you feel called to the priesthood?
Ever since I was a little kid, I was very curious about my faith and wanted to do everything I could like: altar serving, helping out at Sunday school, Eucharistic ministering, lectoring, etc. Through these various ministries, I saw how God works in each and every one of our lives, even if we do not realize it. When I was a freshman in high school, my grandmother took my sister and I to adoration before youth group one Wednesday, so while I was kneeling before the blessed sacrament, I asked God to show me a sign of what he wants me to do with my life. When we came out of adoration and went into youth group, to my surprise, that whole night was dedicated to discussing God’s call to the priesthood. This was a major turning point in my spiritual life and daily life. From then on, I have been discerning God’s will for me because Isaiah 55:8 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways-oracle of the Lord. For as the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
What is seminary life like for you?
While I am a freshman in seminary and have just started my journey here at Saint Joseph Seminary College, I have encountered many welcoming students and staff that are making the transition from my “regular” life to seminary life much easier. As you could imagine, your prayer life is a large part of seminary life, which has been a major blessing, because it has brought me closer to God through new prayer, as well as meditating on the words of prayers that we have prayed since we were little kids.
What do you look forward to about being a priest?
I look forward to living a life that is completely centered around God. I am also looking forward to being a part of the large fraternity that the priests share together, in which they help lift each other up and support one another when they are over whelmed by stress that comes with taking care of the whole parish community.
What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?
My advice for others that are thinking about priesthood is to pray, pray, and pray. Because without prayer, you can’t discern God’s will for you. Also, participate in as many sacraments as you humanly can because you will find God in them and you will also find how God works in your brothers and sisters in Christ as well.