What are some of the factors that led to your decision to enter the seminary and discern the question of a vocation to the priesthood?
Looking back at my childhood the priests at my church were able to knit our community together, and I remember having a very positive experience with the Church. More recently, living in a Catholic community at college showed me the importance of the spiritual and sacramental life. Fatherly priests are what the Church needs today, and I feel compelled to live that life if God wants me.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
Fr. Canole was an lively priest at my home parish growing up, and I like how he was able to engage the community and connect with the children. I also was influenced by Fr. Barnes, the chaplain at my college, and my friend Patrick Ryan who is in the seminary now. That they hold the faith firmly inspires me to do the same.
What would you say is the role of prayer in the life of a seminarian and what effect does it have on one's ability to see God's call?
Prayer is especially important for the seminarian in forming him with Christ as the mold. In prayer and adoration is where God transforms a person’s soul to resemble his Son, because it’s by spending time with a person that one becomes more like him.
What advice would you give to a man who thinking about his vocation and is considering that God may be calling him to be a priest?
My advice to anyone discerning is that it’s not as big a deal as it seems, and that there’s no wrong choice. God gives enough grace for you to live in any circumstance, whether in surplus or dearth.
What do you like most about being a seminarian?
What I like most about this propaedeutic year is having the freedom to spend time in prayer world having too much to worry about.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?
The greatest challenge in discerning a vocation is being able to see clearly both that it is one’s entire life that’s given to God at ordination, but also that one’s whole life isn’t really that big a thing to give to an infinite God. It’s easy to see eighty years as a long time and miss how short a time it really is compared to eternity.
What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?
I like to write, compose music, and play the cello to the chagrin of the men of the cloth down the hall.
What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston?
I think the best way to encourage more vocations to the priesthood is to emphasize reverence to the Eucharist in liturgy and in extra-liturgical practices. By recognizing that the Eucharist is sacred and holy, young men can better see what is the role of a priest, who can touch it only by the grace of God. To revere the Eucharist and to see it touched and handled with consecrated hands reveals the intimacy between the Blessed Lord and his priests and shows that the vocation of the Catholic priesthood is an exalted calling, one worth giving one’s life for.