Pontifical College Josephinum
St. Michael Parish
What did you do prior to entering seminary?
I studied History at the University of Virginia. After graduating with a B.A. in May 2011 and working as a swim coach over the summer, I entered seminary in the fall.
What influenced your decision to apply for seminary entrance?
There were two main influences on my decision to enter the seminary. First, my brother, Fr. Christopher Vaccaro, is a priest for the Diocese. As I watched him go through seminary formation and begin his service as a priest, I noticed his joy at being able to serve the People of God. I wanted to experience this joy, as well. Second, in 2008, I was able to attend the Papal Mass of Pope Benedict XVI at National?s Stadium. While there, he encouraged the youth to embrace our vocation to spread the message of Christ, Our Hope. During that Mass, I felt the best way to do this would be to serve as a priest.
Why do you want to be a priest?
Our world is a dark place, in need of hope and love to combat the despair and hatred we see every day. On my own, I know I could very little to make a lasting difference. But, as a priest, with the power of Christ in the Sacraments, I could bring the Light of the World to all those in darkness.
What are your favorite pastimes?
I really enjoy spending time with my family, watching movies, running and swimming.
What is your favorite quote?
Vivat Jesu! This is the motto of the Knights of Columbus. It captures everything a Catholic Christian is called to do by God. In all things, we are to strive to make Jesus present in the world, to make Him alive in every heart, so that all people may live with Him in Heaven.
Who is your favorite Saint and why?
My favorite saint is St. Maximilian Kolbe. His priestly service to the Church and devotion to the Blessed Mother empowered him to live the Gospel so authentically. He was a missionary, an evangelist, a pioneer, an intellectual, and a martyr. When faced with the unchecked hatred of the Nazis, St. Maximilian offered love and forgiveness as a witness to the Truth of Christ. Every moment of his life was consecrated to our Lord. I pray to him that I may be an effective communicator of Christ’s Love to the world, as well.
What advice would you give to a young man thinking about the seminary?
Pray and try it out.