Year of Study: Pastoral Year
Home Parish: Star of the Sea, San Francisco
1. When did you first think about becoming a priest?
The thought of becoming a Catholic priest has crossed my mind for many years. After much prayer and making a conscience effort to do something about it, I decided to go forward with the necessary steps to discern seriously the priesthood. By the grace of God I am now in my third year of seminary formation. I am so thankful to God that I stepped forward with the discernment process. I feel very fulfilled with the direction my life has taken and God willing I look forward to priestly ordination.
2. Please tell a bit of your background before entering the seminary: did you enter from high school, working, college, etc.?
Prior to life as a seminarian I had two professions. I taught high school for eight years. After teaching, I decided to change professions and I landed a job with the County in the Publics Works Agency. Both of my previous jobs were great places to work and my colleagues were wonderful people. Although my previous jobs were good and stable professions, I knew there was something more to life and this desire lead me to where I am today.
3. What are some of your hobbies or things you enjoy doing during your free time?
I enjoy the outdoors and sports. I enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, abalone diving and hunting. I am a big fan of both professional and college sports. It’s great living in an area where at least one of local teams regularly make it into the playoffs. Go Niners, Giants, and Warriors.
4. Who is your favorite saint?
My favorite saint is St. Faustina Kowalska. The message that St. Faustina received from our Lord is Divine Mercy. The Divine Mercy our Lord offers to us all is a great consolation for our world today. Although St. Faustina died at a relatively young age, the message she promoted years ago is still very relevant for everyone today. “Jesus, I trust in You”.
5. What has been your favorite spiritual reading book?
First off, hands down my favorite spiritual reading book is the Bible. The next book is, “Introduction to the Devout Life” written by St. Francis de Sales. There is so much wisdom and practical advice given to those who want to be drawn closer to Jesus Christ. Right now in my Theological Spirituality course we just finished reading “Time with God” written by Fr. Jacques Philippe, another great spiritual book.
6. What do you most look forward to in your life as, God willing, a future priest?
God willing, as a future priest I look forward to helping everyone make it to heaven. As a priest, being able to administer the Sacraments (especially hearing confessions and offering the Mass) is so important for our journey on the way to heaven. In Fr. Brannon’s book To Save A Thousand Souls he states, “The purpose of a priest is to bring people to Jesus and Jesus to people”. That is what I want to do, God willing, as a priest.
7. What would you say to a young man considering the priesthood today?
When I attended one of the Come and See discernment retreats, the priest mentioned that it is the responsibility of every man to spend time discerning his calling from God. Having said that, spending time with our Lord in personal prayer is primary. Asking God to give you insight, strength, courage, and peace of mind is important. It is also important to meet with a spiritual director on a regular basis. Meeting the vocation director is also needed, he is knowledgeable and experienced with the path you are walking (he has been there himself). Frequent reception of the sacraments should be done on a regular basis, daily mass if possible. And as St. Padre Pio said, “Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry”.