Where did you grow up?:
I was born and grew up in Southbridge, Massachusetts together with my parents, Karl & Claire, my younger brother Brian and my maternal grandmother (Mémère) who lives in an adjacent apartment in our family home. From a very early age I attended and was actively involved in my home parish of Notre Dame (now Blessed John Paul II Parish) in Southbridge. I am also a graduate of the Southbridge public school system.
What schools did you attend?:
I am a two-time alumnus of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. where I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Pontifical Licentiate degree, both in Philosophy.
What was your career or background before entering the seminary?:
Prior to entering the seminary, I worked at Xavier High School in Middletown for 8 years, from the fall of 2004 until June of 2012. Over the years I was called to serve the Xavier Community in many capacities including: as a religion teacher and pastoral advisor, JV lacrosse coach, religion department chair, assistant director of Campus Ministry, junior class moderator, and in my two final years at Xavier I served as the Dean of Faculty Formation. In my tenure at Xavier, I taught courses focused on Sacred Scripture, Church History, Christian Lifestyles and Catholic Social Teaching. The majority of my teaching career, however, has been focused on developing and teaching courses in Catholic Moral Theology.
When did you first think that God was calling you to be a priest?:
“Have you ever thought about being a priest?” I can still hear Bishop Reilly asking me this question as clearly today as when he asked me prior to celebrating Confirmation at my home parish in Southbridge, Massachusetts almost 20 years ago! Since that time, I have prayed and thought about this question often, with varying degrees of openness, seriousness and action on my part. In his message for the 25th World Youth Day in 2010, our Holy Father Emeritus, Benedict XVI wrote: “Jesus never tires of turning to us with love and calling us to be his disciples; to some, however, he proposes an even more radical choice... along the path of priestly ministry.” As I reflect on the experiences of my life, I can see how God has consistently and lovingly called me and re-presented this question through many different people that I have been blessed to know. The only thing that I had to do was to respond.
Who influenced/inspired you to consider diocesan priesthood?:
From an early age, I have been fortunate to know a number of good and holy priests, all of whom have been role models for me and who have inspired my vocation in their own way. Our parish was blessed with several faithful priests, chief among whom was Fr. Maurice Gilbert who was a true pastor, mentor, spiritual director, employer and friend to me over the years. He continually encouraged me in the development of my spiritual life and in my discernment. Sadly, Fr. Gilbert passed away at the age of 71 in July of 2011. As I sat at his funeral, I remembered all that he had said to and done for me over the years and I could again hear him encouraging me to listen for God’s call in my life and to answer his call with faith. I have been equally blessed in my adult life to know priests who are truly in love with the Lord. I had the opportunity to work with and get to know Fr. Greg Galvin in my first years at Xavier. His encouragement played a critical role in my discernment of a call to the diocesan priesthood here in the Diocese of Norwich.