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?
Although I was born and raised in a Catholic family, I was living my life following the advice of the world, focused on myself, on my aspirations and my desires. I was an electrical engineering technician. I was also studying electrical engineering at Federico II University of Naples. Yet, I felt completely empty and unsatisfied in my life. It was in one such moments of darkness that God, through my community and my catechists of the Neocatechumenal Way, intervened in my life, brought me back to the Church and helped me to see his will and the call to the priesthood to begin rebuilding my life from scratch.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
Although many people influenced my decision to enter the seminary, there was one particular priest, the itinerant priest in the team of my catechists, Father Valeriano Montini, who by his example and dedication to the people of God showed me something that I thought was impossible to have in life. He showed me that he did not lose his life even as he spent it for others, while he was happy and full of life. This witness was fundamental for me because it provoked a question in me that I felt compelled to answer: do you want to be happy like him? Up to this day, I have not seen many priests with as much zeal and meekness. Fr. Valeriano was a man of prayer and, at the same time, a tireless consoler and an incredible preacher.
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?
I think these years in the seminary are meant to make a man grow in a deeper relationship with God. Therefore, since prayer is the most powerful means we have to do this, it is fundamental for us as a tool to have a relationship with Him, not just to know ourselves but also to discover God’s will for us.
What advice would you give to a man who thinking about his vocation and is considering that God may be calling him to be a priest
I would say to trust God, because he loves us, and he wants what is best for us. If God has called you to be a priest, He will help you do His will. If, on the other hand, God has not called you to become a priest, he will show you that along the way, and you will be the better man for have given trust to the Lord and not deprive yourself of the grace of God.
What do you like most about being a seminarian?
The thing that I like the most being a seminarian is the gift that I am receiving through my formation. First of all, the fact that it’s enabling me to develop a deep relationship with God; and second, the human experience of growing in the awareness of being a man called by God to be, first a Christian and then a priest if that is his will.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?
I think the greatest challenge is certainly to leave the world behind and to follow God without fear.
What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?
I like to read, to play the guitar and to keep myself updated on matters of electrical engineering.
What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston?
I think the best way is to show the youth that the life of a priest is not boring, that priests are normal people who serve ordinary people sometimes with God’s extraordinary means of grace. I think for people to see a priest who is in love with his vocation and is generous serving and helping others is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood. Promoting events that give the youth the chance to meet priests and get to know them as normal people, can also be helpful to see that God calls real men (not saints!) to become priests!