Mount Angel Seminary, OR – Theology I
“And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.” (Mt 20:7-8)
What prompts a 55 year old man to pursue the priesthood? I was raised in Stayton, Oregon and attended St. Mary Grade School and Regis High School. I spent 20 years as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and retired in 2008. For the past 12 years, I have served the Church as a member of a parish staff, youth leader, and for a time was part of a religious community of priests and brothers. Inspired by questions my daughter raised about the faith, I pursued and received a Master of Arts degree in theology which I have used the past three years teaching at Regis High School in Stayton, Oregon.
I was married to the love of my life for 23 years. After my wife died in 2012, I spent much time in prayer and thought trying to discern how God wanted me to grow in holiness and to serve his Church. Upon arrival at Regis in 2017, I assumed I would spend the rest of my working days teaching theology. This all changed dramatically, following the death of my daughter in 2019. When I took all that had happened in my life to prayer, it suddenly became evident to me that Christ wanted me to pursue the priesthood and that He would use all my talents and life experiences for the betterment of the People of God.
We live in a fallen world that cries out for redemption. I have personally experienced many of the trials that so many people have to face; family members with chronic health issues, the death of a spouse, a child suffering from mental illness, the loss of a child, and the difficulties of helping care for a grandchild. Ironically, it has been during some of the darkest days of my life that I have most intensely felt the presence of Christ walking by my side. I believe a key reason for this is because I had so many good parish priests who assisted me in my times of need. It is my prayer and hope that God will allow me to be a priest so I can bring this type of comfort to the many who are suffering in our world.