I was raised primarily in Alpharetta, Georgia, in a family of five, and educated in the local public schools, with Catholic education classes on weekends through confirmation — 10th grade. My parish growing up was All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody, GA; until they built St. Brigid. Unfortunately, like many people today, I took my faith for granted growing up and was complacent. If you are not growing in your faith, then the devil is winning. Eventually, I stopped practicing my faith for periods during and after college. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a finance degree, and through God’s providence, I moved to southeastern Michigan for a financial analyst position at Ford Motor Company. While working a Ford, I was following the typical career path; however, there was an emptiness inside that was overwhelming.
At this time, God was putting people in my path to bring me back to church and the sacraments. In addition, I had the strong desire to serve people and started volunteering more, especially with the Big Brother, Big Sisters program. My Marian devotion, which was critical in my discernment, also began around this time. And with God’s grace, I returned to the sacrament of penance. Graces from this powerful sacrament led to my deeper conversion, where I was no longer seeking my will, but abandoning myself to God and His will. I remember when I was 28 years old, it was the Year of the Priest (June 2009 – June 2010), I began to have the desire to serve God more closely than ever before. Of course, in my mind, I was thinking a theology teacher and a married permanent deacon. Priesthood in my mind was an anxious thought that I was initially afraid of. But I persevered in prayer and went on discernment retreats because I desired to do God’s will, whatever it was. In addition, I got a spiritual director and from his guidance, I ultimately took the leap towards seminary –ever since I have never been happier. Only in the will of God will you experience the happiness and peace that He desires for you. As Saint Paul says, “… the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” God has chosen you for a purpose before you were born, it is written on your heart, and it is up to you to find it!
God willing, and with the help of your prayers, I will be ordained a catholic priest in four years. On July 14th, I leave for Rome, Italy to continue my seminarian studies. Unfortunately, this seminary program doesn’t allow seminarians to return home for two years. Know that you will be missed and in my prayers, and, despite the distance, we remain together in spirit. Thank you all for your support, words of encouragement, and, most of all, your prayers. God bless.