I’m from Omaha, NE, the Good Life! I was baptized in St. Stephen the Martyr in Millard, and it has been my home parish for the last 14 years after a 7 year hiatus in Kansas City, MO. St. Stephen is the largest parish in the Archdiocese (and if not the actual largest, it’s the largest in my heart). Fr. Jim Tiegs and Deacon Jerry Kozney helped plant the seed for my discernment through their witness of holiness, and less than subtle hints and encouragement as an altar server.
My discernment began in earnest after a conference in Orlando hosted by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. I had a radical encounter with God’s personal love for me at this conference and I told the Lord that I wanted to give my whole life to him. Shortly after that I met a wonderful young woman, whom I dated for 13 months. I broke up with her during my first year as a FOCUS missionary and shortly after that the thoughts of priesthood came back and with more force. After a couple 10 hour drives back and forth from my assignment and Nebraska I was sure the Lord was calling me to the Priesthood. So I applied and after my second year with FOCUS, I entered Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis.
I really love the community of men at the seminary. The formation staff has done an incredible job of creating an environment that is conducive to growing in holiness and brotherhood and I’m very excited for all that the Lord has planned for my growth.
I can honestly say that discerning my vocation has been the most intense and exciting experience of my life. I’ve had to open myself to the Lord’s will in ways I never have before. I’ve learned so much about myself and who I am in God’s eyes through my discernment. You will only be happy doing God’s will, everything else will bore you and leave you asking, “isn’t there something more?”. It is impossible to know God’s will for your life if you are unwilling to listen. If you’re thinking about the priesthood at all, step into the light. Talk to a priest about it. Seminary is not the priesthood, it is a more intense formation and discernment process. So please don’t be afraid of seminary if you feel like the Lord is asking you to go, he’s not leading you into a sketchy alley so he can take something from you. He’s leading you to Himself. He’s drawing you into His mercy and love, where He wants to give you everything. You’ll never know if you don’t go.
I’ve taken a particular liking to disc golf in the past few years of my life. I thoroughly enjoy watching soccer, football, and Australian rules football when I get the chance. I love to read. I enjoy knitting and listening to podcasts. I camp and hike when I can. Most of all I love people. I enjoy my time alone when I get it, but I really like to do just about anything so long as its with others.