Parish: St. Paul Parish, Combined Locks
Birth Date: June 6
Seminary: St. Francis de Sales Seminary
3257 South Lake Dr. St. Francis, WI 53235-3702
Intercessor: St. Teresa of Calcutta, because her spiritual friendship was very important at the beginning of my discernment, and she continues to help me grow in my love for the Eucharist and my desire to serve others
What is your baptismal day and in which church?
I was baptized on August 25, 1996, at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish in Sun Prairie, WI.
What is your favorite devotional and why?
My favorite devotional is the rosary because it helps me reflect on the mysteries of the life of Jesus from the Gospels through the eyes of Mary. Our Blessed Mother is a great witness to what it means to completely trust the will of God, and her statement at the wedding of Cana, “Do whatever he tells you,” shows her desire to bring us to the love of Jesus and to help us follow him. I ask for her intercession every day to bring me closer to her son, Jesus.
What was one misconception you had about seminary and how did that change?
One misconception I had was that seminary formation would not be “fun.” I used to think that it would be kind of like going to boot camp. This is my first year of formation, but already I can see that the seminary is a place to work hard, pray hard and play hard. We wake up early in the morning to pray together in front of Jesus in adoration and at Mass, then we engage in learning throughout the day in our classes and formation sessions, and build comradery in the evenings by playing sports together.
What would your life be like without a cellphone?
The only reason I would miss having a cellphone would be to call or text someone. This past spring, I did Exodus 90, which is 90-day set of spiritual exercises that focuses on spending more time in prayer and fasting from using technology for anything other than work or essential communication, among other things. I discovered that I was more attached to technology than I thought. Through the 90 days, I realized that my phone was a big distraction to my prayer life, but more importantly, it was a distraction to my relationships with my friends and family.
What is the funniest thing that happened to you in formation thus far?
Many people wander onto the grounds of the seminary to walk their dogs, go for a run, or to take pictures. One night after finishing cleaning the kitchen after dinner, I was sitting on the third floor balcony in the front of the seminary and we saw a group of guys taking pictures of their classic car on the driveway. There was a second car driving in front of the classic car which had a guy wearing a bike helmet sitting in the open trunk filming action shots of the classic car.
Who or what was the greatest influence in your discernment of the priesthood?
The greatest influence in my discernment was going to daily Mass during the week. I began to fall in love with the beauty of the Mass, which drew me into a deeper relationship with Jesus in the Eucharist, giving me a solid foundation for my discernment. What does it mean to be a missionary disciple? When I think of a missionary disciple, I think of the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus in the Gospel of Luke. A missionary disciple, as shown in that story, is someone who meets people where they are at, patiently walks with them, teaches them respectfully, and ultimately brings them to Jesus in the Eucharist.