Born:  Corydon, Indiana, United States of America

Joined the Missionaries:
Entered: 2009
Ordained: July 8, 2017

What drew you to the Missionaries of the Precious Blood?
I attended Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana, and got to know the Missionaries there. They were my professors, chaplains, campus ministers, and even lived in the dorm with me. I got to see them “at work” in the college and “at home” in their local community at SJC. I got the chance to see if I “fit” as “one of them” and if they sort of “fit” me too.

What is your current assignment?
I am a Parochial Vicar (“Associate Pastor”) for the Saint Henry Cluster parishes in St. Henry, Ohio.

What is the most challenging aspect of your assignment?
I am not a morning person, so the 7:30 a.m. daily Masses are a bit tough. The 7 a.m. Friday morning prayer services or Mass with the high school youth is even more challenging. Aside from the morning, pre-3-cups-of-coffee grogginess, the most challenging aspect of my assignment is that it is my first assignment as a priest, and I am having to learn so much, so quickly. “Baby priests” or those recently ordained may be adorable and a great line to use to lighten a tense situation, but the learning curve of that recent ordination can be a steep curve.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your assignment?
Ministry is definitely work with people. The most rewarding aspect of my current and first assignment is how incredibly forgiving and generous the people are with whom I serve. To that extent, too, the degree to which the people in the parishes know that my learning of what it is to be a priest is just as much, if not way more, in their hands and hearts in teaching me how to be a minister as it is in my hands and heart.

What did you do before joining the Missionaries?
I entered formation with the Missionaries of the Precious Blood after I graduated from college. In college I majored in math and religion/philosophy and played college tennis. My greater accomplishment beyond that of the diplomas would be the sheer amount of procrastination I, somehow, got away with in college.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy going to the movies, reading, binge watching TV. I also like swimming and playing tennis.

Aside from St. Gaspar, what are some of your favorite Saints?
I went through RCIA while at Saint Joseph’s College, having been raised Baptist. At my confirmation, I took the name of St. Francis Xavier because he was a great missionary and a man who set out into the world and encountered diverse cultures in spreading the Gospel. I was honestly shocked when I found out St. Francis Xavier was the patron saint of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. I am also deeply inspired by St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Pope John XXIII, and St. Katherine Drexel.

What is your favorite prayer?
I don’t know if I have a specific favorite prayer, but I do have a favorite quote on prayer. Meister Eckhart wrote on prayer, “If the only prayer you say in your entire life is, “Thank You,” it will be enough.” I like the summation of prayer into simple and pure gratitude.

What is your favorite:
Book: I regularly re-read Ordinary People and A Separate Peace, though I adore nearly all YA literature.
Food: Lamb & Beef Shwarma with Rice from Cedar’s or the Nile in Chicago is really good. The Spicy Potatoes with Tomato Alioli from Café Ba-Ba-Reeba is a close second.
Movie: Too many to name, but the top of the list probably has to be “The Lion King”.
Holiday: Christmas
TV Show: The West Wing

How much money would you earn on Jeopardy?
It is pure luck getting categories that fit you perfectly on any episode. Maybe $2,000-$4,000.

Would you rather go skydiving or snorkeling?
I have been snorkeling, but would like to try scuba diving next time. Skydiving would probably give me a heart attack as I have a bit of a fear of heights.