Unlike many of my college seminarian brethren, the thought of priesthood had not been on my mind before high school. Around my sophomore year, my pastor invited myself and a classmate to a Saint Andrew Dinner at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary in St. Francis, Wisconsin. Through the beauty of the liturgy, vocation stories and simple dinner conversation with seminarians in-residence, I first heard the call to consider diocesan seminary. I answered that call about seven months later on a mission trip in Kentucky. The Lord made it very clear to me in an examination of conscience in preparation for receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation that in spite of my imperfections, doubts, and the qualities which I believed disqualified me to serve as His priest, He would provide abundantly in every moment the grace I need to persevere.
After three years of formation at IHMS, God's promise to provide for me hasn't changed. This seminary challenges men to own their formation and invest in the means necessary to be formed after the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I especially enjoy the periods of silence scheduled throughout the year which allow the Lord to speak clearly into our hearts without mediation or distraction. I am grateful to be in formation for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and look forward to continuing priestly formation as a theologian next year.