From an early age, I had the desire to be a priest. I always thought I would be a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and would be close to my family. During my time working in the medical field, the desire to consider priesthood returned. I happened to see an advertisement in the Catholic Telegraph about a group retreat at Gethsemane Abbey in Kentucky. I thought this might be a good way to discern whether to reapply to the seminary. I found living the monastic way of life with the prayer and community life very fulfilling. I returned twice and spent a total of 6 weeks living and working in the community as an Observer.
Somehow, I got on the mailing list for St. Benedict’s Abbey and thought I should take a look at that community. I entered the abbey in the summer of 2002, was a novice for a year and professed Simple Vows in 2004 and Solemn Vows in 2007. I entered Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin in 2004 and graduated in 2007.
Ater graduation, I spent three years as a Deacon at St. Gregory Barbarigo Parish in Maryville, Missouri. In November 2007, I was ordained to the priesthood by then Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. I assisted as Sunday help-out at parishes around our abbey until the summer of 2008, when I was appointed Associate Pastor of two parishes in Kenosha. When my assignment ended in 2010, I returned to the abbey and was chosen by the abbot to be prior (second in charge) of the community.
During my time in Kenosha, I began to discern whether to remain a monk or to minister in a diocesan setting as a Diocesan priest. That is my journey, one which continues as I become the Parochial Vicar here at St. Susanna Parish.