Home Parish: St.Clare of Assisi Parish
Seminary: Holy Trinity Seminary, Dallas, TX
I grew up in Clear Lake , Texas . My family was one of the founding families of St. Clare’s Parish when it was founded in 1990 by Father John Kappe. At St. Clare’s, I was actively involved as an Alter Server, Eucharistic Minister, in the LIFETEEN program, YMLT (Youth Ministry Leadership Team) and the Confirmation Core Team. I graduated from Clear Lake High School in 2009. Entering high school, I had my eyes set on the Air Force Academy. This was my goal for college.
I never really understood what it meant to be Catholic until I went on a retreat in Arizona with 3 friends from my parish. It was during Adoration in the Arizona cool breeze on top of a mountain top when I realized that God was strongly working in my life. Since then, God remains the center of my life in everything I do. I have been on two ACTS retreats, one of which I teamed on the staff. I have attended two Steubenville retreats as well. I do not know where I would be today with out these retreats and the love and support of my family and church community.
One day, while driving to work, I was listening to KSBJ, the Christian radio station, and a song came on that caught my attention. It was a song called “God Speaking” by Mandissa. I thought it was nice but had to turn of my car to go into work so I didn’t hear the entire song. The next day, Wednesday, I came home after a Bible Study at my Parish. The word “Priest” popped into my head. It was not me thinking it, or any majestic light or voice. I knew this was a call from God. I thought about it all night and did not get any sleep. The more I thought about it, I could see my self as a Priest. The next day, I did not tell anyone about what happened that previous night. When I got into my car to go to school, the song “God Speaking” was on the radio!! I could not believe it! When I got home from school and my parents and I sat down for dinner, I told my parents “I do not want to be a pilot anymore…I want to be a Priest!” Tears of joy were streaming from my face, and my parents could not have been more proud and supportive. So, later that night, I went onto Facebook as a normal teenager would do, and my friend pasted the lyrics to a song that he heard on the radio and really liked. To my amazement, it was the lyrics ”God Speaking”! I knew that God really did speak to me that previous night and that I needed to pursue this call to the priesthood. I talked to my Parish priest, Fr. Dominic Pistone that Friday, and a week later, Fr. Dat called me and invited to the EXPLORE retreat at St. Mary’s Seminary. The EXPLORE retreat is a retreat for young men discerning the priesthood. In March of 2009 I was accepted into the Seminary. My years of discernment have been the most rewarding and Blessed years!
My favorite scripture verse is Jeremiah 29:11 – “‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”‘ This verse was given to me on a cross from my parents, and has been what has gotten me through my first years of Seminary. To realize that God knows what He is doing, as crazy as it may seem right now, is so comforting and inspirational. There is not a day that goes by that I do not look at that cross and Bible Verse.