School: Notre Dame Seminary
2901 S. Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118
I grew up in LaGrange, Ga. The parish there is St. Peter’s where I first got to know the faith and attended many great youth events. My parents own one of the local veterinary clinics so helping out and working with animals has always been an important part of my life.
What are your hobbies and interests?
My undergraduate degree was in Computer Science. As such, I certainly have a passion for working with computers. Honestly, I have always enjoyed discerning the functions of computer systems and occasionally writing short programs that help others out. My more athletic hobbies include soccer and tennis. I really enjoyed playing tennis throughout High School so that is my best sport, but the hand-eye coordination I picked up from the sport was a great help as I transitioned to play keeper with friends during soccer matches.
What is one of your favorite scriptures?
I really enjoyed sitting with 2 Timothy 2:8,11-13 over the summer. It’s a passage I pulled from the Liturgy of the Hours, but I found it immensely fruitful for my meditation during summer ministry. It’s St. Paul ultimately reminding Timothy of the fundamental truth. That we need not worry if we have Christ and have remained faithful to Him. The reality of God is so immense that we can trust completely in Him without fear that He will let us down.
Who is your favorite saint and why?
My confirmation saint is St. Francis of Assisi. Initially I felt called to that saint primarily through my grandmother and love of animals. However, the more I learned about him the more I was inspired by the life of holiness that he lived. The prayer attributed to him of “Lord make me an instrument of your peace…” is one of my favorite prayers.
In a nutshell, what is your vocation story? How did you feel called to the priesthood?
I first started feeling the call to the priesthood after having a profound encounter with Christ in the Eucharist at the Sonfest retreat when I was 15 years old. Although at the time I was extremely excited and motivated to pursue this the vocation. However, I allowed this desire to wane a little bit in High School, so that by the time I applied to college I was no longer looking towards seminary, so instead I applied to and attended Georgia Tech studying Computer Science. Although I pursued other interests the calling never truly went away. It always lingered in the back of my mind, more as a something I should consider.
What is seminary life like for you?
Busy at times, but extremely rewarding. There are so many great opportunities for ministry and subjects to study that at times it is difficult to decide how to schedule the day. At the same time though it is such a rewarding feeling to look back on the day and see where God is guiding. So much of this life is simply not possible without trust in God that everyday becomes a beautiful opportunity to look for God’s providence in the mundanity of life.
What do you look forward to about being a priest?
An important aspect of my vocation story is a deep and profound love for the Eucharist. As such, I definitely look forward to being able to celebrate the Holy Mass. There is so much to being a priest though. The opportunity to experience life with people is such a beautiful blessing that I certainly look forward to as we all grow in holiness.
What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?
Be active in your discernment. No one comes to this alone. Speak with friends or priests you feel comfortable talking with. Take the time to go on a discernment retreat. God desires you to live a fulfilling vocation, however, if you never take the time to asks the questions you cannot get the answers. When the time comes do not be afraid to respond what God has placed in front of you. If you discern God is calling you to marriage let that be your path to holiness. If you discern God is calling you to seminary don’t be afraid to apply. Doubts and worries keep us from the freedom and joy that God desires for us, and you simply cannot know for sure unless you give God the chance to speak to you!