What are some of the factors that led to your decision to enter the seminary and discern the question of a vocation to the priesthood?
I have a brother who is currently in the seminary of Philadelphia, PA, and, whenever he would come over to our house and bring some of brother seminarians with him, for a visit or on vacation, he always looked so happy and joyful. Seeing him so happy as a seminarian made me wonder what was the source of his joy. I realized that my brother had received a gift from God, the seminary. Today my brother is beginning his studies in theology and has been in the seminary for 5 years.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
I had a lot of help upon entering the seminary from my catechists and many priests that I have met. I have been open with many priests about my awareness of my calling and they have been very respectful of me on entering into the seminary. This allowed me to understand that God is giving me this gift of the seminary as well.
What would you say is the role of prayer in the life of a seminarian and what effect does it have on one's ability to see God's call?
Prayer is a big pillar in the life of every seminarian. Prayer allows a man to be formed through different conversations with God. Prayer is not easy sometimes. When I first began making my way to the chapel and pray, I started out with a restless feeling in me. Maintaining my heart at prayer every day allowed me to concentrate during moments of mediation and contemplation.
What advice would you give to a man who is thinking about his vocation and is considering that God may be calling him to be a priest?
Do not be afraid of what others will say about you. God wants you to be happy and to follow his call. The heavenly banquet desires you to Shepard a certain flock that God is preparing for you. Always remember that you are free. God has given man free will to follow what God has in store for him.
What do you like most about being a seminarian?
Being a seminarian allows you to meet new people and help serve them as well. I really enjoy befriending new people. There is a relationship that grows with different people that will proceed during the time of entering into the priesthood that you could later lean on.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?
The greatest challenge is saying yes to the call. I know for me it was quite difficult to totally say yes to God’s call. Being able to fully submit to God is a gift in itself; the gift of obedience. This will later be a grace that will be with you forever being an ordained priest.
What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?
I really enjoy listening to music. I have a guitar that I always like to play in my free time. Board games or any card game is always a good pastime for me helping me to get to know and to remain in communion with my brothers in the seminary.
What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston?
The best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston is for priests to develop a relationship with families. In recent years the Christian family is under attack and has been broken. There is a rise in divorce, rejection of marriage, rejection of children, and the acceptance of abortion. The help of the priests’ teaching of morality and the ability to grow a relationship with more families will strengthen Christian witness and help show the world the beauty of the Christian family.