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?
The question of vocation is one that can simply not be discerned independently; that said, the first person worth consulting is naturally Christ. Once we accept that our purpose in life has nothing to do with us, then we can confidently turn a quiet gaze towards Jesus in prayer and patiently listen to what he is calling us towards. Then, making sense of these “soft whispers in the wind” can be challenging if left to our own devices. Fortunately, Jesus left us His divine body, the Church and her ministers. So, having frequent conversations with a vocations director was key deciphering Gods Call.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
We hear Jesus proclaim, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” It was on a mission trip to Haiti that I saw through the eyes of a poor, sickly, and abandoned infant how a life full of Christ can transform an otherwise tragic gaze into a mirror of Gods joy. More practically, my family served as a great example of a life lived in his care. Finally, the paternal witness of both Fr. Hennessey and Fr. Cadin bought the vocation into practical perspective.
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?
I think these years in the seminary are meant to make a man grow in a deeper relationship with God. Therefore, since prayer is the most powerful means we have to do this, it is fundamental for us as a tool to have a relationship with Him, not just to know ourselves but also to discover God’s will for us.
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
Turn to the Scriptures, in them we hear the lives of the men like us: afraid, confused, weak, and human. A few personal favorites would be Luke 5 or Matthew 11. Jesus will never be outdone in generosity, and if he is calling us hand over your life to him just imagine the joys he has prepared for you!
What do you like most about being a seminarian?
There is nothing like living right down the hall for Jesus Christ in the tabernacle. This not only provides the opportunity for constant prayer, but it also gives your relationship with God a deeper intimacy. Additionally, the fraternity that you build in the house surrounded by great men of virtue is a real gift.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?
In an age where busy has been popularized and distractions are welcomed, I think the greatest challenge for men trying to hear the voice of God is giving him back some of the space to speak to our hearts. We need to remember that we are human beings not human doings and we cannot build a relationship without being with our beloved.
What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?
I enjoy writing, running, photography, soccer, poetry, hiking, reading, and a whole lot of coffee.
What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston?
Prayer. We need to return our trust back to the source, only through a total surrender of our own ability to produce vocations can God work His greatest miracles. That said, open dialogue about God's role in everyone's life, alongside a personal commitment to building intimate relationships that allow for honest invitations to consider the priesthood will help provide context for a new flourishing.