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 considering the priesthood in high school, I was approaching the end of college and began to look at teaching positions for Catholic High Schools (I studied Theology). The priesthood was the last thing on my mind, until I was in Washington DC when Pope Francis came. I found myself after the mass on the front steps of the basilica with 300 seminarians and something happened interiorly that started the prayer leading to my decision.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
I talked to a few priests when I was considering entering the Seminary. I was struck by the joy they had in being priests. However, just as important was random people who would note that I reminded them of a priest for various reasons. Eventually, these observations began to add up, and I realized I needed that this was not merely a coincidence.
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 by far the most important thing a seminarian can do during the day. Everyday, a seminarian, and every Catholic for that matter, must be try to fall in love with God more and more. Prayer is the best way to ensure that this happens! Also, the more you talk to God in prayer, the more you know His voice calling you where He wants you to go.
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 someone! Other people typically know us very well, and can provide valuable insights about who we are that we may be unaware of.
What do you like most about being a seminarian?
I compare the seminary to "mountain-top time" with Jesus. Before sending His apostles out to evangelize, He spent time, usually on mountains, revealing Himself to them. Before we are sent out as priests, the seminary provides us with ample time, through prayer and classes, to see Christ revealing Himself.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?
Entering the seminary is certainly counter-cultural, so people's reactions can be difficult. We live in a society which does not prioritize sacrifice and the common good, so when a man enters the seminary for these reasons, people think he's crazy!
What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?
I am a big Red Sox fan, so during baseball season I try to watch as many games as possible. I also really like to bike. I also have family down the Cape, so I have been conditioned to love the beach!
What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston?
When priests live with joy and love for God and the Church, vocations will come. Once I realized that the priest was more than the figure who appears weekly to say mass, I began to realize that actual men became priests.