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 have two loving parents, Markus and Lyn Giacomuzzi as well as an older sister who is a nurse in Dallas , Texas . I graduated from Clear Lake High School in 2009. During high school, I worked at a local airport in La Porte at an aviation business named Harvey-Rihn Aviation. While at Harvey-Rihn Aviation, I started flying lessons at 15, soloed a Cessna 172 on my 16th birthday, and received my Private Pilot’s License on my 17th birthday, with the world renowned National Aerobatic Champion Debby Rihn-Harvey as my FFA Examiner.
I was born a Cradle Catholic, and went to church every Sunday with my family as a child. I was enrolled in CCE and the EDGE program grades 6th-8th. I never really understood what it meant to be Catholic until I went on a retreat in Arizona with 3 friends from my parish. Tom Booth was the music director, whom I did not know was a famous Catholic artist at the time. 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.
Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to be an Astronaut. This probably was due to the fact that I grew up in neighboring NASA and going to church with Astronauts and to school with their kids. When talking to them, they told me I must learn how to fly in order to become an Astronaut. My dad knew a guy who flew small planes out of La Porte Airport and took me up flying. I knew then that I wanted to stay on this Earth and be closer to God in the skies and become a pilot. Entering high school, I had my eyes set on the Air Force Academy. This was my goal for college. Everyone who knew me knew me as the pilot who wanted to go to the Air Force Academy. 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. I prayed a Chaplet of Divine Mercy and went to bed. Before going to sleep, I always prayed for a healthy wife and kids and future as an Air Force Pilot. However, that night, I added, “If this is Your Will.” I found out immediately that it was not. 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 persue 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. Meanwhile, I had been applying to the Air Force Academy and was getting ready to set up Congressional Appointments, and now, I was applying to the Seminary. In March of 2009 I was accepted into the Seminary. My years of discernment have been the most rewarding and Blessed years!
Being a seminarian is WONDERFUL! My brother Seminarians and the Seminarian faculty are great and very easy to get along with. Learning at the University of Dallas is a blessing, and a wonderful Catholic university. The food at the Seminary is great, and we have a lot of fun going out on the weekends and playing sports against the University of Dallas . And the best thing is, we all come from different backgrounds and different ways of life and we are all discerning the same call to the priesthood!
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.
I would like to thank everyone who has supported me on this journey. I would not be where I am today with out the love and support of my family, church community, and Priest/Seminarians who have inspired me. To name a few would be Fr. John Kappe, Fr. Dominic Pistone, Fr. Albert Maullon, Fr. Dat, Deacons Luis Lopez and Victor Perez and my friend Daniel Root. And thank you all my benefactors, such as the Knights of Columbus and the Serra Club for all that you do. God Bless you all!