Parish: St. Therese Parish, Appleton
Birth Date: June 24
Seminary: Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary
700 Terrace Heights #688 Winona, MN 55987-1399
Intecessor: St. Thérèse of Lisieux, because it is my home parish and because I wish to imitate her “Little Way.”
What is your baptismal day and in which church?
I was baptized on the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord (Jan. 6) in 1995 at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Llano Largo, La Trinidad, Nicaragua.
What is your favorite devotional and why?
Praying the rosary daily is my favorite devotional for three reasons. First, the rosary is a prayer that helps me to be mindful of the powerful intercession of Mary and her role in the salvation of souls. Second, through the prayer of the rosary, I offer intercessory prayers for those who ask me to pray for them. Most of the time, I offer each decade of the rosary for a special intention. Finally, the rosary is a constant reminder of Jesus’ love for me through the loving care of his Most Blessed Mother.
What was one misconception you had about seminary and how did that change?
Thinking that the seminary was boring was a misconception that I had before entering the seminary. Within my first two weeks of seminary, I quickly realized that seminarians love playing all kinds of sports, for example, ultimate frisbee, basketball, soccer, tennis, as well as board games. Moreover, the great sense of humor that most seminarians possess has changed my misconception of seminary even faster. Our conversations during meals, free times, and breaks between classes were always filled with great laughter and joy.
What would your life be like without a cellphone?
My life without a cellphone would be less occupied and informed, more quiet and prayerful. I remember going on my first six-day silent retreat and pondering what I was going to do without being in touch with the cybernetic world. During those six days, I had fewer things to do and worry about. For example, I did not have to check or send emails and respond to messages on any of my social media. As the days went by, things around me started to be quieter and quieter; I had no clue what was going on with the external world. As a result, I found myself in a place of contemplation and peace. By having put away my cellphone for six days and having entered into a spirit of silence, I was granted the blessing to be alone with God. In short, my life without a cellphone would be like a silent retreat.
What is the funniest thing that happened to you in formation thus far?
I would never forget my first day at the seminary. I arrived two days earlier than the rest of the freshmen, so the seminary formators were not expecting seminarians that day. I remember wearing black dress pants and a polo shirt and having a portfolio with me. As soon as I got into the building, I met the dean of formation who thought that I was a salesperson, not a seminarian. Later that day, I saw a few seminarians walking by and I wanted to talk to them, but they would not interact with me. They were on a silent retreat, they were not supposed to talk. I, then, went to eat dinner, and there was a song being played: “An Orphan Child.”
Who or what was the greatest influence in your discernment of the priesthood?
The greatest influence in my discernment of the priesthood was spending time in adoration at the perpetual adoration chapel at St. Pius X Church in Appleton. I brought my desires, worries, joys and difficulties to Jesus who in response filled me with his graces to say “yes.” What does it mean to be a missionary disciple? For me, to be a missionary disciple means to sit at the Lord’s feet and listen to him and to live out the Gospel with joy, peace and love wherever I might be. In other words, it is essential to learn from the Master and make my actions a reflection of my love for him.