Parish: Immaculate Conception Parish, Luxemburg
Birth Date: October 21
Seminary: Pontifical North American College
00120 Vatican City, V
Vatican City State, Europe
Mailing Address: N6260 Hawthorne Rd., Luxemburg, WI 54115-8228
Intercessor: Mother Teresa, so that she gives me strength every morning to face Jesus and say yes to his will for me that day. This is especially the case when the work or tasks of the day seem small and insignificant. May I do all things for love of Jesus.
What is your baptismal day and in which church?
I was baptized Sunday, Nov. 4, at St. Mary Church in Luxemburg, exactly two weeks after I was born.
What is your favorite devotional and why?
The rosary. It has become a daily devotional for me during this past year in Rome. I must admit that I do not always pray the rosary with the most focus or desire. In addition, despite feeling at times that it is ineffective, I am reminded that prayer is always effective. I sometimes reflect on how my vocation was nurtured during my college years at UW-River Falls when my call to holiness was often the last thing on my mind. Yet, on my four-hour drive home from college, I would often pray a few rosaries. Mary was certainly working.
What was one misconception you had about seminary and how did that change?
I thought that once I entered seminary, it would be all rainbows and butterflies. After all, I would be doing the will of God. However, the honeymoon phase wore off within a few weeks of being in seminary. Despite being filled with excitement for the eight months prior to entering seminary, I quickly became discouraged. I realized that my area of study, philosophy, was not my favorite. In addition, the daily routine became monotonous. However, in prayer, when I would go back to the place when I first felt called to the priesthood, the Lord would give me peace.
What would your life be like without a cellphone?
Like heaven! In heaven, there would be no need for a cellphone because the only one we desire to see would be present to us face-to-face. Likewise, I feel called to be present to those that God has put before me. Oftentimes, my phone has kept me from coming to know and love my neighbor. For instance, during the fall semester in Rome, I found it nice and easy to check NFL football scores on my phone every Monday morning. It simply fed my desire to know now. However, doing so just turned me in on myself. After some time, I decided to refrain from checking the scores on my phone in the morning. Instead, I waited until later to check scores and watch highlights with a brother seminarian. As a result, our relationship grew not only as sports fans but also as friends and seminarians.
What is the funniest thing that happened to you in formation thus far?
A story from last year at the North American College in Rome: I returned from classes to the college at around 11a.m. one Tuesday morning. For me, Tuesday meant laundry day. You need to know that as a theology student in Rome, I wear clerics to class. This day, the clerics that I wore needed to be washed, so I changed into khaki dress slacks and a polo shirt. I then proceeded to do laundry. As usual, I finished folding two minutes before 1:15 p.m. lunch, so I rushed up to the refectory. Upon entering, I was swarmed by a few priests on formation faculty saying, “You have to be in clerics.” I thought, “Whoops, just like every lunch and the 150 seminarians looking at me.”
Who or what was the greatest influence in your discernment of the priesthood?
The Vandal Catholics! This group of Catholic students at the University of Idaho actively sought to live their call to holiness. Getting involved with them helped direct my attention and energy to following the will of God. The campus priest, Fr. Vogel, is the biggest reason I am in seminary.
What does it mean to be a missionary disciple?
To conform your life to Christ. This summer, I worked and prayed with the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. Obviously, the order founded by Mother Teresa is known for serving the poorest of the poor. However, serving the poor is not simply their job. Their service of the poor flows totally and freely from their love of Jesus and his love of them. Their conformity to Christ is rooted in the Eucharist and prayer.