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
When I was young, I was never able to settle on what I wanted to be when I grew up. At around the age of 10, I first heard the call to the priesthood when I visited St. John’s with my homeschooling group. The primary lesson that I always took away from that day is: “remember that God has a vocation for you.” As I progressed through high school and college, I continued to ponder whether God was indeed calling me. During my senior year of college, I finally decided to enter St. John’s, the very seminary I had visited years previously. The priesthood is such a beautiful way for a man to serve God’s people and witness to the grace and peace that can only be found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
While I cannot point to one particular person who has played the largest role in my decision to enter seminary (other than Christ and the Blessed Mother, of course), I have been grateful to have many mentors and friends who have helped me throughout my faith journey. My parents have been supportive of my commitment to faith and desire to serve the Church. The priests in my life, both from my parish and outside my parish, have provided excellent examples as witnesses of the vocation of Holy Orders lived well, especially those who aided me in my high school years. Finally, the faithful Christian friends and ministers I have had helped to encourage me to adhere to God’s plan for my life, especially those from the University of Dallas.
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 the absolute most important activity of both the seminarian and the priest. Since God, who desires the sanctity of every person, commands all who seek to know Him to pray to Him every day, those who he calls to aid in the transmission of grace to the world have all the more reason to turn to the Lord in prayer and to rely utterly on Him.
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?
Pray every day, and go to Mass as often as you can. Listen for the Lord in prayer, and speak with trusted priests and friends about your vocation. Once you have prayed to know the Lord’s will for you, when the time is right, be decisive. One of the largest obstacles a man faces when following his vocation is indecisiveness. There is a greats difference between careful discernment and hesitation.
What do you like most about being a seminarian?
As a seminarian, I love to be able to devote my time to prayer and to have fellowship with my brother seminarians. The other men in formation have also made a sacrifice to follow the call to the seminary, and helping one another stay true to that call is a great privilege.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?
As with the life of any Christian, the greatest challenge a man faces entering the seminary is learning to master himself. He cannot do this on his own, but must rely on God. Intemperance, rashness, slothfulness, and selfishness always threaten to distract the seminarian from following God’s will. However, as the Scripture says, Jesus can calm even the most tempestuous of seas (Mt. 8:26).
What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?
I have a gift for public speaking and enjoy giving talks about the faith and other topics I am passionate about. I also enjoy the analysis and appreciation of the visual arts, especially film. For physical exercise, I enjoy taking long brisk walks.
What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston?
I think that the best way to encourage vocations in the Archdiocese of Boston is to help foster in young men a love for God and the Church and, having done so, show them the importance of the mission of the Church and the role that the priest plays in that mission.