Year in Seminary: Philosophy – 2nd Year
Home Parish(es): Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
At what point in your life did your faith come alive? How did this happen?
I was raised nominally Catholic: calling ourselves Catholic but not really practicing. I didn’t take the faith seriously because I didn’t see my family, especially my parents taking it seriously. As I got into the angsty time of adolescence, I rebelled and really developed a dislike of religion, and especially the Christian faith. My impression was that it was fake and superficial.
By the time I got into my junior year of high school at Bishop Machebeuf, I encountered one of the theology teachers named Marc Lenzini. When I heard Christianity proposed to me as he did it: not as I had often heard before: a moral or ethical system of rules and obligations that to me seemed mostly arbitrary, but rather as the Person of Jesus Christ, and as the answer to the deepest and most fundamental needs and questions in my heart, my conversion was affected seminally, and my life took a definitive turn. I knew that if this was true, that I had to be entirely committed to it. Finally, his witness to me was proof and confirmation of what he was teaching me: that a life lived for such a thing brings fruit of true joy and love: things I was then, and still am desperately hungry for. He said, ”holiness is happiness,” and I saw in him that it was true.
What do you enjoy most about the seminary?
The brotherhood is for me not only an immense and vital support for my faith and my particular vocation to the priesthood, but I really don’t feel that I could fully live my general call to holiness in Christ without it. God has given me THESE particular brothers to be my companions in personal conversion, and then ultimately in the conversion of the world; I’m convinced that without Christ helping me through them, neither would be possible.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I’m actually nobody particularly interesting so I enjoy probably what most people do: literature and music are very important to me, I like to bike and play stuff like racquetball. I like to watch baseball and movies with friends. A good conversation at a coffee shop is always a highlight for me too.
What would be your one piece of advice for a young man discerning his vocation?
That you can’t do it (discern) unless you DO IT (live the life). Get rid of all the fantastic ideas that you have about all the possibilities for your life and vocation (which are probably more paralyzing than moving), and commit to something. God will lead you.
Describe your relationship with the Blessed Mother.
I didn’t have a real relationship with her until this year actually, but now it is at the center of my life for God. I can only say that what everybody else says is true: without her charming and gentle motherly care and guidance, my vocation would have fallen apart quite a while ago. I know that she loves me very much.