St. Paul, Salem
Education Experience: I attended West Branch High School, completed my freshman year of college at the University of Dallas, a small Catholic liberal arts university, and I am now in my second year of seminary formation at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus.
Work Experience: During high school I worked as a lifeguard at a country club for two summers. I worked as an administrative assistant during college for my school’s office of student life where I made signs to hang in the school’s student union, helped out with paperwork, and ran errands.
Favorite Saint(s): My favorite saints are St. Louis Marie de Montfort, St. John the Baptist, and St. Joseph. St. Louis was extremely passionate and energetic for his missionary work in France and he clung to the Blessed Mother and the cross as sure means of uniting himself to Jesus Christ. St. John the Baptist was a courageous man who led a vigorous life directing people toward the Lord, “Behold the Lamb of God” (Jn 1:29), and when the time for the world to move into relationship with the Lord came, John said, “He must increase, I must decrease” (Jn 3:30). He knew exactly what he was supposed to do and he held to truth although it led to his martyrdom. St. Joseph is the perfect example of the father who when faced with trials and fears clings to the Father in heaven from whom true masculine strength comes.
Hobbies/Interests: Sports, especially Ultimate Frisbee and Soccer, Playing the Trumpet, Listening to Music, Dancing, High Adventure Activities and Reading.
Family Background: My Dad is principal at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Louisville, my Mom is a computer applications teacher at West Branch Middle School. My eldest brother is married and is a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, one sister is a pre-novice for the Daughters of Holy Mary of the Heart of Jesus in Steubenville, the other is a software consultant in Chicago, and my younger brother is a sophomore at the United States Naval Academy.
What led you to consider the priesthood: My family has attended a catholic summer camp, Catholic Family Land, in Steubenville since I was small. During the adoration night for the teens while I was in my freshman year of high school I was confronted with the reality of my sin and God’s sacrificial loving gift of self in response to my lowliness. In response to this relationship I was quick to realize the necessity of offering myself back to God in reciprocation for his love. As I was approaching the end of high school I was sure of my need to do what it was that God desired of me, but I was not sure whether he wanted me to take the concrete step of applying to seminary. I ended up attending the University of Dallas, a great catholic liberal arts school, in order to do some further discernment. During the spring semester God told me rather explicitly to attend seminary, and now I am trying to use every moment to grow closer to him.
Favorite thing about Seminary Life: My favorite thing about seminary life is sharing my formation with a house of brothers. I learn awesome things in class, gain knowledge of myself as a person, draw closer to the Lord, and gain ministerial experience not as an individual but as part of community of men who are experiencing the same reality. Sharing this experience of self-growth with these awesome men is a great privilege.
Advice for guys considering Priesthood: God may have made you such that your complete happiness on earth lies in being a priest of Jesus Christ, however He definitely made you such that your happiness lies in being united to Him. God wants your happiness, your fulfillment, your perfection. Do not become overly preoccupied with whether you are to be a priest. Concern yourself with growing in relationship with the one who has loved you into being and who desires only to be with you for all of eternity. By knowing the Lord in a real experiential way, He will free you from your fear and you will have the freedom to joyfully choose the good that God has prepared for you, whether that be the obvious beauty of marriage, the more mysterious wonder of the priesthood, or something else. God loves you. He is not waiting for you to enter seminary. He is showering gifts down upon you. Receive them, and be happy.