Get to know a little more about the men you are praying for as they continue to prepare for the priesthood.
Year of Study: First Year Pre-Theology
Home Parish: St. Philip Church, Greenville
Where did you grow up and go to school?
I grew up in Smithfield, R.I., and lived here for 22 years. I went to William Winsor Elementary for grades 1-5 and Gallagher Middle School. I attended Smithfield High School for all four years of high school and graduated in 2016. I went to Rhode Island College and graduated in 2020.
What does the word “vocation” mean to you personally?
To me the word vocation means discerning God’s will for your life. Whether it’s discerning priesthood or religious life. It may also be married life, but it is — at the core — letting God show you his plan for you and accepting that call.
How did you discern your vocation to the priesthood?
It has been a six-year process for me. I first felt a call after a Steubenville East conference. However, I shoved it aside and wanted to date, but getting older and graduating from high school my priorities changed. I became less interested in a relationship every year in college and slowly became more focused on the Mass. However, last year when COVID shut everything down, I was blessed by God to be able to record the Mass. That helped me to truly focus on the Eucharist. My pastor and assistant pastor Father Francis Santilli and Father Phillip Dufour, as well as my former assistant pastor Father Ryan Simas, truly brought the Mass to life and I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. I was all in. The seminary retreat sealed the deal for me.
What is something that readers may not know about what it is like to be a seminarian?
We are all imperfect, but we unite together to try to be the men that God has called us to be.
What would you say to a young man discerning the priesthood — or maybe hasn’t even considered it at all?
“What ifs” can haunt you. If you feel that call but don’t do anything about it you’ll wonder forever. In both situations though for anyone discerning or never thought about it, I say to you that it’s never a wasted experience. No matter if you are there and get ordained as a priest or leave and get married. Your time is never wasted. Instead, you build relationships and grow in faith and virtue to become a better person. Let God work within you.
How do you feel we can best support seminarians?
Prayers are always the most powerful way to help anyone. The more prayers the better.
Is there any person or saint whom you credit with interceding on your behalf to God for your vocational discernment?
Yes! Huge credit goes to Father Simas, Father Santilli and Father Dufour. All three of them shaped my faith and showed me how beautiful it is to be God’s priest. They taught me to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, and with their guidance I have matured. Mr. Dennis Sousa, the religious ed director at my home parish, has been a friend and my mentor. He has taught me so much and showed me how to be a strong Catholic, not afraid of the world. Also, I give special thanks to St. John the Baptist who was my confirmation saint. He inspired me to want to preach God’s truth. Also, St. Benedict whose life story and example I love. Lastly, my father and family. My dad brought my family back to church when I was in middle school. He kick-started my desire to know more and to know Jesus. My two brothers and my mom showed me how to be a kind and gentle person.
Favorite Hobbies and/or fun fact about yourself:
I love WWE and I used to always want to be a professional wrestler. I created my own company, moves and name. Also, I love going to concerts and sports events. Nothing is better than a beautiful hike to enjoy God’s creation.
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