Home Parish: St. Anne Church, Tomball, TX
Pastoral Year Parish: St. Anthony of Padua, The Woodlands, TX
I’m not a native Texan, but as they say, “I got here as quickly as I could.” Until I arrived in Tomball in 2004, I had grown up in six houses, in three continents, over 14 years. By that time, I had met many priests, but I still had no idea of what they really did or how they could be happy in a life of service to others. When I was ready to graduate from high school and made my first major decision about my future, I followed in the footsteps of my brother and attended Texas A&M University to study Engineering.
Without even knowing it, I started to attend one of the most dynamic and fruitful college parishes in the nation, St. Mary’s in College Station. While I never missed Sunday mass, school and grades were my top priority and my faith and friendships suffered. During this time, my brother invited me to the Aggie Awakening retreat where I met many great people my age who were excited and engaged in their faith. Recognizing this was what I really longed for, I started to pray about my relationships and lifestyle, I worked to maintain openness to God’s will; through this, God chose to speak. In my fourth semester at A&M, I heard a voice from within ask, “God, do you want me to be a priest?” In that simple question, I couldn’t deny that I felt his answer was “yes.”
While everything in me wanted to stay with my friends and continue the journey of learning and discernment at A&M, health complications required me to leave for treatment in Houston. For a year, I prayed like I had never prayed before, trusted in God’s providence, and confided in God’s plan for me and my purpose in life. No longer was I afraid to follow his call to seminary and beyond.
After two years of public discernment, I entered seminary for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston at St. Joseph Seminary College in Louisiana. My seminary experience has been filled with God’s grace and blessing. I have grown in knowledge and spirituality and I look towards the challenges that lie ahead. As I continue on this path, I am reminded to be courageous and obedient and find these qualities in Jesus’ words to Simon-Peter, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4).