Thursday, July 30, 2009

The story of my Vocation

It is amazing to see how God works throughout our lives from the time we are born until the day we take that last breath. Looking back now on the short 23 years of being alive I can see how God has worked in my life! One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” This verse means a lot to me, because it is exactly how my story begins:

When my mother was pregnant with me, my parents went to Indian lake with my father’s side of the family. While on this trip a priest friend of the family asked my dad, “Are you ready to have a son?” “I am ready financially, but I just don’t know what I am going to do with him,” my dad answered. Then, Father said, “Don’t worry, God knows what He is going to do with your son.”

Just a few years later when I was about 2 years old my grandmother was reading me a story about the birth of Christ. About half way through, I asked my grandmother “Is there more than one God?” She was amazed that someone as young as I would even is capable of asking such a question, and she knew that God was at work in my life.

Then when I was five years I went to Christmas Eve Mass with my grandparents and the priest let all of the children come around the alter during the homily and Eucharistic prayer. Well, I went up and stood by the priest, and during the consecration I started to interrupt him and ask, “Is that really Christ’s blood?”

Now I should make it clear that even though up to this point most of my experiences have been Catholic while I was not baptized. Throughout the next few years of my life my only involvement with church was Christmas Eve Mass with my grandparents.

During my senior year of high school I started attending a Baptist Church every Sunday and was baptized. I also applied to the Naval Academy and a few Christian Colleges (my dream was to enter the Naval Academy and become a fighter pilot). Then on my last night of spring break, I prayed to God, “Do you want me to join the military, or enter the ministry?” The next day, I came home from school and got the mail. I received two letters in the mail; One being a rejection letter from the Naval Academy, and the other being an acceptance letter to a Christian College. I knew that was a clear sign! After receiving the answer to my prayers, I asked my pastor, “What is it like to preach?” He then asked me the youth minister and let me preach once a month.

While attending a community college, I frequently made trips to New Hope, KY and stay with my great aunt. The people there had a huge impact on my conversion! After going there a few times, they asked me, “Are you ready to become Catholic yet?” And I would respond with, “No, I believe everything you have taught me, but I want to get married and become a preacher. And I definitely do NOT want to become a priest!”

I then asked my pastor where I should go to study for the ministry and he suggested Liberty University (LU). I applied, was accepted and received a substantial scholarship from Dr. Jerry Falwell himself. Well, the summer before I attended LU, I went to the Ignite Your Torch Catholic Youth Conference. During this conference there was Eucharistic Adoration every night. And during the last Holy Hour at the conference I realized that Jesus was really present in the Eucharist. This changed my life!

Well, I was only at Liberty for a few months before I realized that the Holy Eucharist was missing in my life. It was then that I knew I couldn't preach something I didn’t fully believe, so I became Catholic during my first year at LU. It was during this time that I lost many of my closest friends, but I knew I was following God’s will. In fact, during my first class of RCIA, they went around the room and asked each person why they wanted to become Catholic. And when it was my turn to answer the question, I said, “I am supposed to be a priest.”

As time went on at Liberty, my vocation to the priesthood seemed to be confirmed more and more. I went on a retreat for Catholic Campus Ministry leaders and a Campus Minister from Radford asked, “Have you ever thought about becoming a priest?” This was NOT what I wanted to hear. In fact, just before I went on this retreat I prayed, “God I will go where you want me to go, I will do what you want me to do; I will become what you want me to become! Just make it my will and make it clear to me.” Well, after what this campus minister told me, I knew my prayers were answered.

After being on this retreat, I started the group called “Catholics at Liberty.” There I started to meet other Catholics at Liberty and I spent most of my time working with this group. It really did help me discern my vocation for the Catholic Priesthood.

It wasn’t until I entered RCIA, that I knew I had a vocation to the priesthood. But now, looking back all throughout my life, I can see the signs there. I can see how God has placed this vocation in my life, even before I was born!

To fulfill this vocation, I now plan on entering the seminary for the Arch-diocese of Cincinnati! But as you can imagine, after graduating from Liberty University, I have some debt that needs to be paid first. Luckily, the Laboure Society is an organization that helps men and women in this same situation. They have so graciously agreed to help out with this debt. But they can’t do this alone; they need our prayers and support! The Laboure Society is doing their best to help support vocations. Your donation to the Laboure Society will not only be supporting many different vocations, but it is also tax deductible!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ignite Your Torch 2009

Sorry it has taken so long to write about Ignite Your Torch. I have been very busy with a lot going on.

IYT 2009 was very different this year from any other year. We held it at St. Catharine's College On top of that, the conference was a Saturday to Tuesday, instead of the normal Thursday to Sunday. Because of this, we couldn't pray at the abortion clinic, but not to worry, other great things happened!

It started off a little slow. Most of the time we didn't have air-conditioning and it was hard for people to pay attention. It wasn't until on Sunday that the mood changed! We had the Arch-bishop of Louisville come and celebrate Mass with us, and then led the Corpus Christi procession.

Later on that Sunday, I gave a very brief testimony of how this conference helped me convert and helped me discover my vocation to the priesthood. I also realized, that it was 3 years ago from Corpus Christi Eve that I was at my first "Ignite" and I met Jesus for the first time in the Eucharist! It was less than a year later that I entered the Catholic Church!

We had Adoration, Confessions, Mass, Workshops and much more this year at Ignite. It really was a powerful conference! After talking with a lot of the youth and chaperones, I felt that many of them have taken their relationship to the next level with our Lord and Savior!

For more info on Ignite Your Torch please go to you will be able to find some slide shows of past Ignites and information on future ones!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Starting this Saturday Ignite Your Torch 2009 will be here! It is the conference that has brought me home to the Roman Catholic Church! It is also the conference where I first started discovering my vocation to the Priesthood!

We are actually overbooked for this year, and some of the priests are actually pitching tents and camping out (this is how little room we have)!

You must come next year if you haven't signed up for this year. Check out the website here:

Please do keep the conference in your prayers. Our biggest day is going to be Sunday, most of our activities are going to be outside on Sunday and it is supposed to rain. Please pray for good weather!

1st day of work

Yesterday was my first day of work at Splash Moraine. This is my 3rd year working at Splash, but it will be my 7th or 8th year working for the City of Moriane.

It was a very easy and fun day (as most days are). I am not a life guard (encase you were wondering), no, instead I am Guest Relations. It is my job to sell and collect tickets, pick up trash, rent out inner-tubes, and assist customers with whatever they need.

Today I was able to spend time talking to old friends from work, high school and just from customers who swim a lot. It was very nice to see them all again! It seemed as if we never left from last summer.

It is very interesting working there because most of them know that I am a religious person and that I want to be a priest. They all started asking questions about Christianity and Catholicism and why would I want to be a priest (some are nominal-Catholics, atheists, Protestant-Christians, and I am sure some other beliefs).

It is here at Splash Moraine where most of my summer ministry happens. I don't preach to them with words, but instead with my actions. Over the last 5 years I have had people from all over the city come to me for advice and for someone to just listen to them. This is such a great ministry that God has blessed me with, and I am forever grateful for it!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A year ago from today...

It is hard to believe that it has been only a year ago from today that I was on Marcus Grodi's "The Journey Home". That was such a great experience! The only thing that would have made it better, would have been if my dad made it down with me.

For those that don't know, it was a rough day and I barely made it down there in time for the show. Trust me, if you haven't read the story, you have to read it:

And if you are interested in purchasing it, you can buy it from EWTN's website for only $15! Just go here:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fr. Longenecker

On Sunday, some friends of mine (that are at the beach with me), and myself visited with Fr. Longenecker!

You can read more here on his blog: