School: St. Joseph Seminary College
75376 River Road
St. Benedict, LA 70457
I grew up in Duluth, Georgia and am a parishioner at The Catholic Church of St. Monica. I am the youngest of five. My parents raised all of us in the faith and my family is very devout. We are all very close and love to hang out with each other.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I love playing soccer and have been playing my whole life. I enjoy most sports in general. I love music and I like to play guitar and piano. I also really enjoy playing board games, especially with my family.
What is one of your favorite scriptures?
One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Psalm 51 (50). It is such a beautiful plea for God’s mercy. It reminds us of our unworthiness and sinfulness, but also of God’s great mercy and compassion. It calls us out of our sinfulness and into intimacy with God. But it also reminds us that it is only through the Lord that we can become righteous. It is only by His grace that we can overcome sin and live lives of virtue. It shows how we must humble ourselves, be truly contrite for our sins, and give ourselves completely to God for Him to accept us into his bountiful mercy.
Who is your favorite saint and why?
My favorite saint is our Blessed Mother. She is the greatest model of complete submission to God. She shows how to truly practice humility, the virtue from which all other virtues flow. She loves us so much and wants us to draw closer to her. She wants to bring all of us to her Son so that we might enjoy eternal bliss with her. She is constantly drawing us closer to herself because it is through her that we come closer to the Lord. God chose to bring His Son into the world through her, so it is only fitting that we approach God through Mary. She has been integral in my discernment and has been with me the whole way.
In a nutshell, what is your vocation story? How did you feel called to the priesthood?
I started discerning my senior year of high school. I had always been interested in the priesthood, but I had never given due time to discerning it in prayer. I was in a relationship at the time so it was difficult and very emotional to go about this discernment. After I graduated, I decided to go to college at Georgia Tech, but I still knew going to seminary was an option. One day at daily mass I became aware of God’s great desire for good priests, and I realized that I needed to start discerning this vocation more seriously. I began to meet with my spiritual director more often and I would try to go to adoration as often as possible. Through prayer, I began to realize a deep desire for serving the Lord through the priesthood. I was given lots of great advice and through this, I knew that God wanted me to go to seminary. My girlfriend at the time was very supportive and encouraging and helped me to make this huge decision. After I met with the vocations director, I ended my relationship and began the life of preparation and discernment of priesthood.
What is seminary life like for you?
Seminary life is amazing. It is extremely busy, but it helps you to establish order and routine in your life. The men here are incredible and there is an amazing sense of fraternity. There are so many people to look up to and learn from. The classes keep you busy, but it never takes away from your spiritual life as prayer is made a priority for everyone. It is an incredible place to grow closer to God and to grow in being a true man of God, while also discerning the priesthood.
What do you look forward to about being a priest?
What I look forward to most if I become a priest is celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There is no event more powerful than Jesus’s sacrifice on Calvary, which God re-presents through the priest’s sacrifice on the altar. Through this sacrifice, God then bestows an abundance of grace on His people through His priest. For me, this would be such an incredible privilege to know that God chose me to be the mediator between Him and His people through the Mass. I also look forward to this in the sacrament of confession where I can be with people in their most vulnerable times to allow God to work through me and grant them forgiveness and consolation.
What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?
For any men who are considering the priesthood, I encourage them to go to adoration as often as possible. It is only through prayer that we can draw closer to the Lord and know His will for us. I would also recommend reading The Imitation of Christ. This book will help you become real men of God and to grow in true knowledge of yourself. When you know yourself better it will help you better discern what God wants you to do. Pray the rosary and then stay close to Mary as she will lead you closer to her son. Don’t be afraid and know that following the will of God will always lead you to true freedom and happiness.