Tell us a little bit about your first thoughts of a vocation to the priesthood.
I am a cradle Catholic, and as a family we would go to Mass, pray before meals, pray before going to bed, and other regular at-home faith practices. These routines instilled by my parents really laid the foundation. I never expressed or remember any interest in the priesthood until I was in the 4th grade or so when I started altar serving. This kept the thought of the priesthood alive, and my two parish priests for most of my life, Fr. Richard Rackozy and Fr. Robert Bauer, were also strong examples and played a significant role in my first thoughts of the priesthood.
What pastoral learning experiences made the greatest impact on you?
During my time in seminary a group of us would go to downtown Detroit with lunches to distribute and to strike up conversation and hopefully prayer with those on the street, and I also spent some time doing street evangelization on the Wayne State campus. Both of these pastoral experiences stretched me and showed me how much I need to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide me.
What saint particularly inspires you?
St. Alphonsus Ligouri is someone I look to as an inspiration. He struggled his whole life with anxiety/scruples, but was able to be a priest, be a bishop, and write so beautifully on Church teaching. I look forward to learning more about his life and spending time with his writings.
How do you hope to answer the call of the New Evangelization in your priestly ministry?
I hope to be able to present the teachings of the Church in an exciting way that helps someone to see Church teaching in a light that they have not before. By my homilies and by holding presentations/discussions I hope that the door to peoples’ hearts will open just a little bit more to let Jesus in.