School: St. Joseph Seminary College
75376 River Road
St. Benedict, LA 70457
I grew up in Jefferson, Georgia and my family were parishioners of St. Catherine Laboure until we moved to Lawrenceville when I was in high school and we became parishioners of St. Monica, in Duluth. I am the eldest of seven children, the youngest child being nineteen years younger than me. I was homeschooled since kindergarten and graduated through the Mother of Divine Grace program.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I enjoy watching movies as well as film analysis. Since being at seminary, I have taken up photography as well as videography, particularly in helping create the yearbook and make the Halloween movie that is put together by the seminarians at St. Ben’s every year. I have played soccer since I was six years old and I continue to do so at seminary. I also enjoy watching soccer in my free time, my favorite teams being Atlanta United and Chelsea.
What is one of your favorite scriptures?
One of my favorite scripture passages is Psalm 91. This psalm is the first psalm I ever prayed in the Liturgy of the Hours when on a Quo-Vadis retreat and holds a special place in my heart.
Who is your favorite saint and why?
My favorite saint has to be the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is the role model for humility and docility to the will of God, which is something that I always need to remind myself to imitate.
In a nutshell, what is your vocation story? How did you feel called to the priesthood?
I first seriously thought of the priesthood when I was thirteen years old and began altar serving. When I would altar serve, I felt very close to God and I saw the priest I served the Mass for as a great role model who was always reverent and unafraid to speak the truth. A couple years later, when I was fifteen, I got into the discernment program of the Archdiocese and began regularly attending the Quo Vadis retreats, Discernment Masses at the Borromeo House, and Come-and-Sees to St. Ben’s. Before I visited the seminary in 2017, I was on the fence about giving myself fully to discernment, but it was in visiting that I discerned God calling me there. The virtuous brotherhood and way of life that I saw there moved me and I decided to follow the workings of the Holy Spirit and apply to be a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. I was accepted into the program in April of 2018, only a few weeks before I graduated high school, and even though I have had my fair share of challenges, I have always regarded going to seminary as the best decision I ever made.
What is seminary life like for you?
Seminary life for me carries with it both joys and challenges. Seminary was my first experience of a regimented schedule which is challenging yet helpful. Not only do I have academic classes, but I also have community prayer and different assignments every day. This set schedule has helped me to develop a greater desire for leisure, which is something I have to make sure I engage in. The brotherhood I have experienced in seminary is the greatest joy. The friends I have made at seminary are some of the closest relationships I have ever had and it is these brothers which help me in my daily life and make the challenges of seminary doable.
What do you look forward to about being a priest?
God willing, I look forward to being able to give of myself in service to the needs of others in the special way that only priests can. Priests serve the people of God from birth to death and that is something that I admire in the priesthood.
What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?
My advice to men who are discerning is do not discern alone! Without friends by your side who are committed to growing in virtue and pursuing God’s will, it will be very hard if not impossible to pursue a vocation. A man who is discerning, must also stay close to Our Blessed Mother. If you are struggling with discernment, devotion to Mary is a sure way to help. Mary will never desert her children and will always intercede for us to her son, Jesus.