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
Since I was about 4 years old my family has always prayed together for personal vocations every night. Since we started saying those prayers I have always felt a call to the priesthood. The more I prayed about it and the more I studied my faith the more convinced I became that God was calling me to enter the seminary.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
The simple answer is God. My friends, family, pastor, and even my high school teachers have always been very supportive of my entering the seminary, and very helpful in the process of discernment, but it all comes down to the fact that I felt called and that is the reason I entered.
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 indispensable to the life of a seminarian, and it enters into every aspect of seminary life. Sincere prayer keeps you in touch with the will of God, focuses you on the things that are most important in your life, gives you strength in your endeavors, and, quite honestly, is the only thing that will keep you sane in the midst of the chaos that juggling a full-time college schedule with a seminary schedule can bring about.
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
Talk to your pastor and definitely consider applying for the seminary. Even if you don't end up becoming a priest the seminary is a great place to be. Since entering, I've grown so much in my prayer life, gained a greater appreciation for the Sacraments than I ever knew was possible, and built countless relationships with many great Catholics and fellow discerners.
What do you like most about being a seminarian?
The entirety of seminary life has been a great blessing to me and there are very few moments I don't relish, but my favorite thing about seminary is that I get to live about 300 feet from the Blessed Sacrament. It gives you so many opportunities for prayer and sanctifies the house as a whole.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?
The greatest challenge for a man considering the priesthood is the rest of the world. Since the idea of the priesthood is so wholly counter-cultural in modern society most people won't understand your decision to enter the seminary, and there is a good number of people who will resent it. Don't worry, though, "If the world hates you, realize that it hated (Christ) first." [Jn. 15:18]
What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?
When I find myself with some spare time, especially in a hectic time of year, I like to pop into the chapel for a few minutes, just to decompress. As far as just plain fun goes, I love video games, pool, shakes at McPhail's, poker, and especially naps.
What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston?
All human efforts to increase vocations are great, but I think the most effective way to increase vocations to the priesthood is to pray for vocations on the family and parish level.