I am from Bellevue. My home parish is St. Peter in Omaha. I was blessed to have great formation in my faith in high school through good youth groups and serving Mass. I wanted to grow in my relationship with God, and because of this I tried to be open to whatever God was asking from me, even potentially the call to be with and serve God in a radical way as a priest. It became clear that discerning in seminary would help me grow in confidence and clarity about where God wanted me to be. So I transferred into college seminary at Conception Seminary. I grew a lot there and there were so many great moments of prayer and community, even if there were tough times as well. At the end of college seminary I did not feel ready to go onto further studies in seminary so I left formation and took some more college classes. But I was open to coming back if God gave me more joy and peace about moving towards the priesthood, which he did in fact give me! So now I am starting theological studies at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis. It is a beautiful campus, and I love the warmth and care that all the seminarians show to each other.
For any young man who feels like God might be calling him to discern a vocation as a priest, I would simply say- don't “stress out” about “figuring out” your vocation. Rather, fall in love with God and spend time with him just for the sake of being close to Him and allowing Him to love you. If you are living in Him in this way, He will give you more clarity at the right time, in the right way. I love being active, whether that be in outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, and backpacking, or sports like basketball, volleyball, and disc golf. I also enjoy playing my accordion and reading good literature, especially anything by Dostoyevsky, Chesterton, or Flannery O’Connor.