Home Parish: Our Lady of Victory/St Joseph’s, Rochester, NY
Year you entered the seminary? What did you do before you entered the seminary? Why did you enter the seminary?
I entered the seminary for the Diocese of Rochester in 2016, but my vocation journey started earlier. I had studied for the Priesthood for a religious community in Europe for several years before returning back home. Before that, my training and background were in music, working as a professional organist and choral director. The call to serve the Church in a deeper way drew me to committing my life to studies and a more serious discernment of the Priesthood. Though the beauty of music is a great gift, especially in the Liturgy, I wanted to share an even greater gift, God’s Mercy and Truth!
What was one of the major influences leading you to consider priesthood?
I’ve been profoundly inspired by the writings and life of St. Therese of Lisieux, (the ‘Little Flower’). She had a burning desire to share Jesus’ message of merciful love to everyone. In my moments of hesitation, discouragement, and weakness, St. Therese has been my guide and teacher. Her desire to make God loved and her trust in God’s goodness overcame her own limitations and weaknesses which, like everyone’s, were real. Her zeal and single-minded purpose in the face of countless obstacles is perhaps the ideal that most influenced my vocation.
Like all musicians, music has taken up a large portion of my life. Even though my work and love is focused on Church music, I’m also a big fan of Italian opera like Verdi and Puccini. I’m an even bigger fan of the golden age of singers in the mid-century, especially Maria Callas. I appreciate the intensity, drama, and fragility of life that this musical world draws us into. I’ve always read quite a bit, and in addition to rich disciplines of Philosophy and Theology that I’ve been privileged to study, I enjoy 20th century British writers, most of all Evelyn Waugh. On a lighter side, I like travelling, especially old-fashioned car trips through the beautiful U.S.A!