Before entering seminary, I was attending Reservoir High School in Howard County. I was very interested in vocal and instrumental music – I sang in the school’s choirs, played French Horn in Band and Orchestra, and played Bass in Jazz Ensemble as well as in a combo with a small group of friends. I was also into stage performance, participating in Theatre productions. At my home parish, I was a sacristan, as well as an altar server and a lector. Involvement at the parish, particularly as a sacristan, brought about an opportunity for discernment. I received an invitation to a vocations event near the end of my Sophomore year, and followed God from there.
The biggest thing that attracts me to the priesthood is the sacrifice of the Holy Mass. The priest is the unworthy instrument which God chooses and bestows grace upon to make Christ present in the Eucharist. They act as Christ (alter Christus) in the sacrifice which is made, and lead God’s people in remembering Jesus’s death and resurrection.
My favorite saint is Saint Alphonsus Ligouri. Saint Alphonsus was a very intelligent man, who, through great discernment and a strong spiritual life, left his profession as a lawyer to enter the seminary. He used the great gift of his intellect to serve God in many ways: his profound and numerous spiritual writings which spoke to all members of the church, his work in the field of moral theology, his calling as founder of the Redemptorists, and his service as a bishop of the church. And now, we commemorate him as a Doctor of the church. Saint Alphonsus truly allowed the Holy Spirit to work in him, and offered his gifts to God through his service to and writings (theological and spiritual) for the church.