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?
After going on many high school retreats and growing in my relationship with Christ through the sacraments and lots of time spent in adoration, I began to discern the possibility of the priesthood. This scared me at first but after bringing it to prayer and openly discussing my vocation with my pastor and a few other priests I decided that entering seminary was what God was calling me to do.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
My pastor, Fr. Jack Graham and Deacon Kevin Win were very influential in my decision to enter seminary, although they may not know it. It was not any specific thing they said but it was their example of living as good catholic men that showed me how I could better live out my catholic faith.
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 crucial in the life of any Catholic, especially one discerning their vocation. And in a particular way for the seminarian. A seminarian must stay close to the sacraments and have a good life of prayer in order to grow in their relationship with Christ. Remaining close to Christ will help to hear God's voice and discern His call.
What advice would you give to a man who is thinking about his vocation and is considering that God may be calling him to be a priest?
Pray! Do not be afraid and turn to the Lord in prayer, especially in time of adoration. Talk to people. Tell your pastor and other priests you are close with so you can have an open conversation about what God might be calling you to.
What do you like most about being a seminarian?
The best thing about being a seminarian is the ability to be in the presence of the Lord in the chapel at any time. If I am having a bad day or stressed about classes I can just walk down the hallway and be with Jesus. Also, seminary offers an environment where I can grow in prayer and virtue so I can be a better servant one day as a priest, God willing.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?
Fear is the greatest challenge facing men discerning their vocation. Fear of losing friendships and looking different than the rest of the world, fear of being mocked and ridiculed. But the sooner we realize the world has nothing but empty promises for us the sooner we can more fully turn to God.
“You were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness”
- Pope Benedict XVI
What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?
In my free time I enjoy being outside on the patio with my brother seminarians or just taking a drive and listening to music.
What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston?
We must be good examples of the Catholic faith. It is easy to tell when you come across a prayerful and virtuous priest because you can see the light of Christ burning within him. This attracts young men because they are looking to be challenged to become better and more virtuous. We are in a society where whatever satisfies you is seen as the best thing for you. Men see that that lifestyle is unfulfilling and are desperate for a meaningful life. So, the best way to encourage vocations is to challenge young men and call them to something bigger than themselves.