Parish: St. Bernard Parish, Green Bay
Birth Date: November 5
Seminary: St. John Vianney College Seminary
2115 Summit Avenue, Mail #5024, St. Paul, Minnesota 55105
Intercessor: St. Thomas Aquinas, because he is my patron in confirmation, my patron as a student, and the patron of the university where I study. He and his work have played an integral role in forming my intellectual convictions about the faith and about life.
What is your baptismal day and in which church?
I was baptized on Dec. 24, 2000, at St. Michael Church in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
What is your favorite devotional and why?
On Aug. 22, 2016, I completed the “33 Days to Morning Glory” Total Marian Consecration on the memorial of the Queenship of Our Lady. My consecration therefore is made to her in the context of her queenship, whereby I pledge my love and obedience to Christ the King through Mary the Queen. One of my favorite prayers is now the Salve Regina. Our Lady of Good Help even called herself the Queen of Heaven in appearing to Sr. Adele. I love the Blessed Mother, and it just happens that she has met me in my life likewise as my Queen.
What was one misconception you had about seminary and how did that change?
I was under the impression it would be difficult or take some time to make friends and to get to know my brother seminarians, but that could not be further from the truth. The older men here at SJV are incredibly welcoming and outgoing, and all my fellow new men are open and friendly as well. I believe we have already become very close. The formators and elder seminarians have been intentional about us quickly building fraternity throughout the dioceses and grade levels, and I have yet to have a bad encounter with anyone.
What would your life be like without a cellphone?
My communicating with friends and family and my accessing general information would certainly become much more limited and less convenient. I would have to write more emails and letters to correspond with people, rather than texting and calling. Navigating cars would be more difficult. Everything else I use my cellphone for on a semi-daily basis, such as checking emails or baseball scores or playing music, I could simply do on my laptop. At this point, I have no gaming apps left on my phone, and my social media use beyond communication purposes is non-existent, all in accordance with the suggestions of my seminary rector and formators. Completely eliminating a phone would eliminate the temptation against being present, especially in those little moments during the day when, for example, I am in my room and I could either check on baseball news or check in on my brother seminarian.
What is the funniest thing that happened to you in formation thus far?
The state’s seminarians were staying in a La Crosse hotel for the 2019 Wisconsin Seminarian Gathering this past August, and my roommate and I went to bed with a shuttle scheduled to leave the hotel at 7:30 a.m. the following morning. I set the alarm and went to sleep. Sometime during that night, I dreamt I woke up, and that my roommate told me he wanted to remain in bed. And so, under that impression when I awoke with the alarm and my roommate did not, I simply went back to sleep. About 10-15 minutes later we were awakened just in time by frantic knocks on our door. Needless to say, Fr. Mark was very intentional thereafter to make sure we each awoke on time.
Who or what was the greatest influence in your discernment of the priesthood?
Praying with the Blessed Sacrament was the principle means of both my conversion to following Christ and my discerning the call to seminary, in Eucharistic adoration and in simply being with him as he is reposed in the tabernacle.
What does it mean to be a missionary disciple?
Such is a disciple of Christ who is intentional about bringing him to those he knows and interacts with. The two necessarily go hand-in-hand. One must know the person of Jesus, his teachings and church, and must desire to conform one’s life and heart with his. Then is needed the mentality to share that life and relationship with those yet of the world: the living of the Gospel commission as a missionary disciple.