Although my home parish is St. James in Omaha, Nebraska, I haven’t always lived in Omaha. I was born in New York and shortly afterward moved to Texas, then to Massachusetts and finally to Hastings, Nebraska, where I finished high school.
After high school, I attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where I studied Architecture and Civil Engineering. Before my last year in school, I was hired as an intern for an architecture firm in Omaha, and upon graduation they hired me as a full-time employee. I was chasing after what the world told me would bring success and happiness, but found myself feeling lost and unfulfilled. Then God reached out to me and told me that he had something better for me; I finally listened. I was led to St. James parish where I went through RCIA. At the Easter Vigil in 2010, I received all three initiation sacraments and found myself filled with a peace and joy I had never known.
Through much discernment and great spiritual direction, I found myself being led to the vocation of the priesthood. I quickly realized that in order to fully discern this call I needed to go to seminary. In the Fall of 2012, I began my seminary formation, attending Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. It is hard to believe that five years have passed and that this Fall I will be returning to Kenrick as a deacon for my final year of seminary. Formation has been challenging at times, but through those challenges I have been drawn deeper into the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
For anyone discerning their vocation, I encourage you to spend time in prayer with the Lord, present in the Blessed Sacrament. Ask the Lord for the grace to conform your will to His and find a good spiritual director to help you discern God’s will. Also, frequent the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation; there you will find yourself in communion with God and can more readily and accurately hear and answer His call.