Year in Seminary: Theology – 4th Year
Home Parish(es): Queen of Peace Parish, Aurora
When did you first consider becoming a priest? What made you consider it?
I played Mass by myself around the time of my first Communion, but I did not begin to really consider the priesthood until I was confirmed six years later when I was fourteen. I have the moment of my confirmation fixed firmly in my mind and I attribute that moment to be the definitive beginning of my discernment. I wrestled with the idea of the priesthood for the next nine to ten years, however.
What did you do before you entered the seminary?
I attended Colorado State in Fort Collins and the University of Colorado at Denver for a total of six years. It took me a while to find a major (accounting). I worked at a grocery store since my junior year of high school for a total of eight years. When I finally allowed myself to be open to the priesthood, I left both my degree in progress and my job in a matter of months to enter seminary.
What was one of the most important things that helped you take the step into seminary?
I attended a weekend discernment retreat. While in adoration in the wee hours of the morning, I had a very strong encounter with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and I just had to ask myself what I was doing with my life and where I was headed. He invited me to “reconsider my direction” and I decided that it was time to return to the sacrament of confession which I had been absent from since before my confirmation. Everyday I went to Mass from that day forward, prayed a holy hour, prayed the rosary, and went to frequent confession and six months later I was in seminary!
What do you enjoy most about the seminary?
The fraternity. I have found the best friends of my life thus far in seminary and aside from supernatural help, I would not have made it through six years of seminary without the help, consolation, and prayers which my seminarian brothers have provided for me.
Describe your relationship with the Blessed Mother.
Ever since I went on a confirmation retreat in 1996 I have kept a small rosary and miraculous medal in my wallet – even if I had little to no prayer life during certain periods. After returning to the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation after a ten year absence, one of the things I began doing was praying the rosary daily. I would be a wreck without the Blessed Mother’s constant devotion and protection over me (even when I had no devotion to her and no prayer life). The spiritual life without a devotion to Mary is like driving a car that only goes straight or turns left. You might get to your destination eventually, but it will probably be more difficult and lengthy if you can’t turn right!