I grew up in Fort Calhoun and have lived there all my life. Growing up, I loved playing in the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and sports. These are still some of my favorite hobbies today, along with reading, drinking coffee, and of course, praying. During my senior year of high school, I committed to play football at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. When I arrived at Benedictine, I did not know Jesus personally; I only knew facts about Him. During my first week at Benedictine, I attended an Alpha Retreat, which included talks, small groups, adoration, and praise and worship. During adoration, I felt the Lord move my heart to Him for the first time, and my life was never the same. I quickly joined a Bible study, and it was here that I found a solid group of men who showed me what it meant to be a holy man. In my sophomore year of college, I decided to change my major to Theology and Evangelization & Catechesis, for I was thirsting to know Jesus more. Throughout college, I led Bible studies and was a part of numerous groups on campus.
The initial pull toward the priesthood occurred when I was a child. Since I was young, the idea of being a priest sounded wonderful. Over time, that thought became more purified. The summer before my senior year at Benedictine, I decided to apply to the seminary. There was a certain longing in my heart for Jesus. I knew that going to seminary would bring me closer to fulfilling this longing. This desire for the seminary became more prevalent as I continued to be aware of the promptings the Lord was placing on my heart and through daily prayer. I am in my first year of Seminary at Kenrick-Glennon in Saint Louis, Missouri.
My advice for a man discerning a possible vocation to the priesthood is to simply follow Jesus and be willing to give Him your “yes.” God calls all of us to holiness, and He has a specific way that you will be a saint. Be willing to follow where the Lord calls!