St. Michael the Archangel
Georgia Institute of Technology (Aerospace Engineering)
English, basic French
Playing and listening to music, reading, hiking, mountain biking, racquetball, riding my motorcycle on mountain roads in North Georgia
Saint Patrick and Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Our Lady of the Rosary
Growing up, my mom chose to homeschool me and my four younger siblings, which meant that she could, and frequently did, bring us to daily Mass and weekly confession during the week. While I never thought about what God’s will for my life was during that time, I can now look back and say with confidence that the habits that were formed and the graces I received during my childhood formed the foundation for my later receptiveness to Christ’s call to discern His priesthood in seminary.
Despite growing up in a very Catholic culture, my faith was never at the center of my life. It wasn’t until getting involved at the Georgia Tech Catholic Center in my first year of college that I experienced people my age genuinely striving for sainthood. They prayed together as willingly as they hung out together, and their community was centered on daily Mass and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The relationship my new friends had with the living God and the resulting joy that they radiated was so attractive to me, and I wanted that happiness.
Over the next few years, I became an active member of the community and continued to grow in friendship with my fellow GT Catholics, many of whom are currently discerning or have discerned the priesthood or religious life. Witnessing the generosity of some of my closest friends respond to their calls was instrumental in helping me to begin to be open to what God wanted for my life, instead of just doing what the world told me would make me the happiest. The chaplain at the Catholic center also emphasized the importance of vocational discernment in homilies, and although I’d probably heard other priests speak about vocation before, I was beginning to be prepared to receive and respond to such a message.
As my years at college passed, I continued to delve deeper into my faith and grow in my relationship with our Lord, all the while becoming more attracted to the idea of being a priest. The two aspects of the priesthood that have been most compelling to me in my discernment have been the sacramental and the intercessory. The role of the priest in the Eucharist and other sacraments continues to inspire awe, and more recently I’ve come to love offering my prayer for my friends, family, brother seminarians, and the universal Church. I always say that, though it may not have been the first step, so to speak, of discerning God’s will for my life, it was really in seeking to fulfill my primary vocation to holiness that a direction for my secondary vocation to a state of life became clear. It’s only by the grace of God that I am here at seminary today, and it’s only by the grace of God that I can truly continue to discern my vocation.
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Please pray for continued openness to God’s will for my life.