Q: Describe your educational and professional background before entering formation.
A: I have a Bachelor of Arts in computer science from Rutgers University, 1988. I worked for AT&T for almost 17 years as a computer programmer/systems analyst. Basically, I built and maintained small computer software systems to help make other AT&T employees’ jobs just a little easier.
Q: What first interested you in the priesthood?
A: Noticing the lived example of priests in my life. Why would they do this?
Q: When did you first feel called to the priesthood?
A: Early in the 2000s. Somewhat simultaneously, as our faith became more and more important in my life, several people had asked me if I had ever considered the priesthood.
Q: What ultimately led you to enter the seminary?
A: The Blessed Sacrament. In hindsight, as I was my reprioritizing my life, He was in the center of it: daily Mass, eucharistic adoration, just spending time in a Catholic church.
Q: Where did you find support for your call to the priesthood?
A: Primarily in prayer. However, my family and friends have also provided wonderful support. Not the least of whom is my former pastor, Father Larry Christensen, C.M. His support, especially his initial support when I could have hightailed it elsewhere, has been very important for me.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about the priesthood?
A: Leading the people in prayer, primarily in the Mass; celebrating the sacraments, in general.
Q: What do you find most daunting about the priesthood?
A: The tremendous responsibility the Lord places in the priest’s hands, literally and figuratively, and the corresponding trust that his faithful place in the priest.
Q: What has been your favorite class or aspect of seminary life?
A: I would say the general camaraderie among the seminarians. As we go through the ups-and-downs of seminary life, a bond forms among the men. I see some lifetime friendships forming.
Q: What is your favorite pastime?
A: I enjoy reading, keeping up with current events and continuing to learn about our faith.
Q: Is there a particular talent or gift you feel you bring to the seminary community and, eventually, to the Church as a whole?
A: I have been able to use some of my computer skills since I’ve entered the seminary. I’ve used them more than I’d expected. How the Holy Spirit will use that now and in the future for his purposes? He’ll have to figure that out.
Q: In today’s world, a call to celibacy is seen as radical, if not impossible. How have you reconciled the priesthood’s call to celibacy with this challenging cultural perspective?
A: Radical. Seemingly impossible. Challenging. Doesn’t sound different than many of the Church’s teachings, and the Gospel message in general. Our lived faith for Catholics is radical, seemingly impossible, and challenging for all.
Q: Can you recall a particular moment when you have been called to give testimony to your faith, or more particularly, to your vocation to the priesthood?
A: My being recognized as a seminarian has definitely led to conversations about our faith. This happens especially in the parish, for example: greeting people at the exits after the Mass. Some of these people seek clarification on particular teachings of the Church.
Q: How do you feel about this significant step, being ordained to the diaconate, in your priesthood formation?
A: This is of course an important milestone in my journey. This ordination opens up more opportunities for me to serve in my parish pastoral assignment in Massachusetts: proclaiming the Gospel, preaching, baptisms. I will be able to participate more in the life of the parish, in the life of the Church as a whole, and…eventually in the life of the Church in the Archdiocese of Denver.