Birth Date: October 8
Seminary: Mundelein Seminary
1000 E. Maple Avenue
Mundelein IL 60060-1967
Patron: St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
I am a dog person because dogs are more fun to run around and play with.
Tell us about a great experience you had during the summer of 2018.
On the whole, the summer of 2018 was a great experience. I was blessed to spend my summer in Omaha, NE, at the Institute for Priestly Formation to grow in my relationship with Christ. The grace I received this past summer has changed my life, and I am excited to continue formation! That being said, one particular experience that was a lot of fun was attending a College World Series baseball game. I jumped on the Oregon State bandwagon, and they won that game, and they won the whole College World Series!
Who influenced you the most to think about priesthood?
Fr. Eric Nielson, the chaplain at St. Paul’s University Catholic Center in Madison, played a major role in my consideration of priesthood. First, Fr. Eric is never shy about telling a man he would make a great priest. I still remember the first time I served Mass at St. Paul’s. After some small talk in the sacristy before Mass, Fr. Eric confidently told me that I should be a priest. At the time, I was not interested, but in seeing the way that Fr. Eric and the other priests at St. Paul’s joyfully and lovingly lived out their priesthood, I eventually became more open to the idea of being a priest. Then, it was Fr. Eric who helped guide me through my discernment process. He was an excellent spiritual father for me in a time of discernment, which was at times difficult. I am very grateful for his direction, and I hope to imitate his loving accompaniment with others throughout my own life.
Pope Francis recently wrote a document entitled Gaudete et Exsultate on holiness. What does holiness look like to you?
Holiness starts with the first beatitude found in Matthew’s Gospel: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In Gaudete et Exsultate, Pope Francis uses the Beatitudes to describe holiness, and I believe this one is particularly important. Being poor in spirit means recognizing that we have nothing unless it comes from Christ. We are holy because Christ is holy. We cannot come to holiness using our own “riches” whether they are material or immaterial. Next, holiness is found in a life rooted in daily prayer and reception of the sacraments. After realizing that we cannot achieve holiness on our own, we must make ourselves available to receiving the Holy Spirit in the reception of the Eucharist, reconciliation, and daily prayer. Finally, through the Holy Spirit, we are able to live holy lives by performing small acts of love for those around us.
There is not one “cookie-cutter” example of holiness. That being said, I see holiness in faithful parents, involved parishioners, and diligent students. These people know they are loved by the Father and share that love through their respective vocations. If there is one thing to remember about holiness, it is that we are all called to it. Therefore, be confident you can achieve holiness in Christ.
What is your dream car?
My dad had a black 1979 Chevy Corvette before he married my mom. I always thought it would be really cool to have that car to enjoy with my dad. Also, it looks very sleek and is super fast.
What aspect of your home parish is the most meaningful for you?
I enjoy the people of Holy Spirit Parish the most because they are committed to growing in holiness and fostering a strong community. It is very common to find a few dozen people sticking around after Mass to chat. In those conversations, just moments after receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, life is shared and the kingdom of God is built up.