Province of St. Martin de Porres
Fort Worth, Texas. I moved around a lot as a kid, but I consider Texas home. I’ve lived in Fort Worth for the past 12 years or so.
How long have you been a Catholic?
I grew up Catholic. Both my parents are Catholic and both sets of grandparents are Catholic, too.
What were you doing before you entered this formation program?
I graduated this past May, and I did a four-year internship in Dallas with Ernst and Young, a professional services firm. I had a job lined up with them before I resigned and entered into my Dominican formation.
What made you begin to consider a religious vocation?
I think I first received the love of God and my calling through family and friends. The best way I can describe it is I was searching for a response to that love. And this is it.
How did your education influence your decision to enter religious life?
Being at Texas A&M was a big part of my vocation story. I experienced a lot of independence and was making a lot of choices for myself. And I surrounded myself with friends who challenged me. It was great to see the fruitfulness of campus ministry and all the great people doing constructive things there, such as retreats, worship, and praying together.
What made you choose the Dominican Friars?
I really admire this Dominican saying: “to contemplate and to share the fruit of contemplation.” Prayer, community life, study, and preaching are all a big part of being here and it is a really good fit for me.
What is the most difficult part about adjusting to religious life?
The multigenerational community here is very different from how I had lived up to this point. But I really enjoy it. It was an adjustment, but I really enjoy it now. Just the stories they have to share are so great to hear.
Who is your spiritual role model? Why?
There are so many. Pope Francis, Pope John Paul II, and Mother Teresa. I have a lot of close friends and priests I admire, too. And my Dad.
What spiritual gift do you think you bring to the order?
A willingness to learn about and work with all different types of people, helping them to find their gifts.
What would you tell someone considering a religious vocation who is unsure of what steps to take?
I would tell them to not be ashamed that you don’t have it figured out. Focus on a personal relationship with Jesus and what that means as far as serving others. And to let other people walk with you. Let other people into the journey. Family, close friends, spiritual director . . . they can not only help you discern God’s will but also add joy to their lives.
After you become a brother, what do you hope to be doing in ten years? Twenty?
Definitely still discerning. I think ultimately some sort of ministry with an active relationship with Jesus and the flame in my own heart. And helping people experience the mercy of God that I’ve experienced in my own life.
If you met Pope Francis today and could ask him one question, what would it be?
If he watched the World Cup between Argentina and Germany with Pope Benedict!
If you met Jesus today and could ask him one question, what would it be?
Why only one question? But seriously: Why did he pick the time that he did to be born?
What is your favorite Bible verse?
Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always.”
What is your favorite prayer?
I like the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
What is the last book you read?
I just finished a book about the Wright brothers’ first flight by David McCullough.
What do you do for fun?
I like being outside, hiking and camping. I am also a big baseball fan—the Chicago Cubs! I remember watching in 2003, as a kid, when they were five outs from the World Series. I cried.
What would you like to say to the Hilton Foundation, who made this Grant possible?
Thank you. This grant is a testament to keeping religious vocations alive in our country. I’m so thankful because student debt is really a problem. And it's not only tackling student debt, but it's also enabling people with college education and variety of experiences to be open to discerning for religious life. Thank you for that opportunity.