Today, there is a universal awareness of the need for more priests, yet at the same time many Catholics are unfamiliar with the seminary process. Since I will be serving here for the summer, I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself and share my vocation story.
I was born and raised in Federal Way. I am a lifelong parishioner at St. Vincent de Paul, where I also attended grade school. I graduated from Kennedy Catholic High
School in 2014 and then entered seminary at the college level. I am a musician and I have been blessed to serve in music ministry at several parishes. Music has also been a great hobby and my love of the piano and accordion has led to many great friendships. I am very close to my family and we enjoy hiking, bicycling, and playing board games together. I am also an avid fan of classic mystery novels.
My vocation is a mystery. In the words of Pope St. John Paul II, “How does one explain the ways of God? Yet, I have become convinced that Christ was saying to me what he has said to thousands before me: ‘Come, follow me!’ There was a clear sense that what I heard in my heart was no human voice, nor was it just an idea of my own.” Rather than a dramatic conversion, I experienced a gradually growing desire for holiness, nurtured especially by frequent reception and adoration of the Eucharist and a devotion to Mary through the Rosary.
I first thought about the possibility of priesthood during eighth grade. Although I had many career interests, each one I settled on failed to stir within me a sense of fulfillment. Instead, I felt my heart being gently nudged by a desire to serve as a priest, a desire which steadily grew and which alone gave me a true sense of peace. In seminary, I have now come to see the priesthood as a way to give all my gifts and talents, as well as my struggles, back to God in service to his people. Celibacy, as a universal love, thus becomes an integral part of that sacrifice and joy.
I just completed my second year of studies at Bishop White Seminary, at Gonzaga University in Spokane. God-willing, my path to ordination will be about five more years. I will first complete a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, in preparation for four years of graduate studies in Theology. During my summers, I will have a variety of pastoral internships such as youth ministry, parish work, Spanish immersion, and hospital chaplaincy. As a diocesan priest, I will ultimately serve at various parishes in Western Washington.
I am grateful to God for my vocation. In following His call, I have already experienced great joy. I am likewise very thankful for the support of my family. I have been blessed with guidance in the examples of holy priests, the support of Archbishop Sartain, and the community of my fellow seminarians. My discernment will actually continue all through my seminary years; therefore, I ask that you please remember me in your prayers. Although my vocation may be a mystery, I treasure the words of Jesus to his first apostles: “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.” (John 15:16).