Pontifical College Josephinum
St. John the Baptist Parish
What did you do prior to entering seminary?
I grew up working on my family’s farm in Front Royal, Virginia as I completed my high school studies. After graduation from high school, I took a year off from studies as I worked full-time as a carpenter in Northern Virginia. During this time I was actively discerning and praying for clarity of the will of God in my life.
What influenced your decision to apply for seminary entrance?
I have always wished to bring others into a relationship with our Lord. To ease their suffering and give it meaning, so that they might receive the love of Christ and be able to have the peace of mind and spirit and the joy that I have been blessed to receive from my savior. I was also raised by my parents to always be open and pray that I might find and do the will of God. Through my own experiences, I have found that there is no peace until we give ourselves completely to God and His holy will.
Why do you want to be a priest?
I wish to serve Christ in His people, to bring to mankind the living God, in the word and the flesh, in order that they may have the joy of God.
What are your favorite pastimes?
I love to be able to get out into the great outdoors and enjoy the wonders that God has placed there for us to enjoy and to learn from. I especially like to fish, hunt and hike. I also love sports as well.
What is your favorite quote?
This is a hard one for there are many I would like to put down. I would say one of them is John 15.11. “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
Who is your favorite Saint and why?
Our Blessed Mother, for she is the mother of my Lord and of His holy Church, and then through the Church, in baptism, also my mother. She is the mother of love, mercy, kindness, humility, and all that is good in this world. She will, if you ask, take you up in her embrace and bare you to her son, teach you His ways and command you, “do whatever he tells you.” Her motherly love for us is so great and unique that she will melt even the hardest of hearts and transform them into hearts of love, love for the Lord.
What advice would you give to a young man thinking about the seminary?
Pray always for the grace to truly surrender fully to the will of God, to hold nothing back for yourself. If the Lord is calling you to the priesthood he will invite you, and if you accept His invitation, you will find peace. Just be open; you can always change your mind, and you will be better off because of the things you learn in formation. There is no contract you have to sign to enter into seminary, but just remember God does not change his mind just because we do. Our job as children of God is to learn how to walk hand in hand with Him, not to run ahead or to dig our heels in. So let things happen in due time. In the words of Padre Pio, “Pray, hope and don’t worry.” The devil will do all he can to disrupt the peace of Christ; you must resist him with total focus on your savior.