July 8, 2012
Eight years ago, I remember praying the Rosary in St. Theresa’s in Douglasville, GA. I remember it clearly because it was the first time I had prayed the entire thing…all twenty decades. I was in the middle of a crucial moment in discernment…that moment every man who enters the seminary experiences: I felt a call from the Lord, and I knew I had to talk to someone about it, but as soon as I did, I knew that I would start an avalanche of activity I wasn’t entirely sure I yet wanted.
But here’s the thing: if God wants us, and we are even slightly (and I do mean slightly) open to his will, then we will be his.
And so eight years later, after two years of pre-theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD, after three years earning a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, and another two years completing a License in Patristic Theology from the same institution, Archbishop Gregory has assigned me to grow in faith with the parish community of St. Brigid.
I cannot express how thrilled I am to be coming to Johns Creek. I was born in Austell and grew up in Roswell…that’s right: a native Georgian! Just when you thought we didn’t exist! I attended Roswell High School, and then I earned a degree in Management from Georgia Tech, graduating in 1999. I worked for six years as a private equity analyst for a firm based out of Washington, D.C., which I left when I joined seminary. I have some family left in the Alpharetta area, but both of my parents have already passed to their eternal reward.
I was assigned to my home parish last summer, but the assignment was only brief. I spent my first year as a priest in Rome studying, so you’re not exactly getting a rookie, but you are getting a red shirt freshman! I hope to learn a great deal in the parish, and I look forward to sharing with you the joy that the Lord has given to me in my life and ministry, and I hope to participate in the joys and sorrows of your lives.
So what do people want to know about their new priest? I don’t know…I’m new at this! I am a baseball and college football fan. I love to watch tennis, but I’ve never played a single game in my life. I love—and I mean love—golf. I enjoy reading, cooking, writing, and swimming when I get the chance. I like to attend Nascar races, but I refuse to watch them on television. Stone Mountain Park and the Aquarium are two of my favorite places in the area. My entire family went to the University of Georgia, but I went to Tech, so I root for both unless they are playing one another.
I love the Fathers of the Church (basically, the first 600 years or so of the existence of the Church), and I love heroic saints, so you’ll be hearing a lot about them.
St. Brigid’s is a really big parish…three times the size (or more) of my home parish, so it will take some time to really get to know you, but I am looking forward to it. After five years in Rome (which was wonderful), I’m ready to get back home and start this marvelous ministry with which I have been entrusted by our Lord.
I look forward to assisting our pastor, Msgr. Talley, and I thank him for the opportunity to serve the people of St. Brigid alongside him. I have a lot to learn. For my mistakes, which will be many, I ask you forgiveness, and for that which I may do well, let us thank the Lord for his grace.
God Bless You!