First of all, let me tell
you a little about the places I have lived. I was born in Buffalo
New York. At the Age of two, my family moved to a town in New
Jersey. By the end of my freshman year in high school, we moved back
to Buffalo. At the end of my junior year in college, I moved down to
Tampa Florida. I think that all this moving around had an impact on
my discerning a religious vocation to the Franciscans.
I became an Altar Boy in
third grade after helping out during the Mass for my sister’s
wedding. I found serving at Mass a really neat experience. I then
moved into lectoring when I was in junior high. I really enjoyed
proclaiming the Scriptures at Mass. From time to time, folks would
ask me if I felt called to a vocation in the Church. I never said
yes because I wanted to explore some of what life had to offer. I
wanted to date, have a career, and maybe own a house. I really
wanted to be a “regular” teenager and a “normal” young adult. So,
when people asked me about a vocation, I put it off.
I worked several different
jobs while going to college. Several were career jobs in business.
However, none of these business opportunities brought me real
fulfillment. I began looking for a profession that had more purpose
to it. I changed my major in college to Criminology and started
working on a career in law enforcement. I thought that this would
feed my hunger for being of service to others. Unfortunately, I
still found this job choice lacking for what I felt called to do.
I finally looked inside
myself to determine what I felt would bring me true happiness. The
old questions about a vocation in the Church resurfaced. Eventually,
I would refine this vocational question in light of my gypsy ways.
Franciscans are classified as a Mendicant Order as contrasted to a
Monastic Order. This means that Friars are not tied down to
possessions or places in their ministry of serving God’s people.
After a great deal of prayer, work, and disappointments, I found a
home with the Franciscan TORs. And although I joined the community
with a little bit of grey in my beard, I do not see the time I spent
finding my vocation as a waste. It has given me a wide variety of
experiences that has helped me to connect with folks who are seeking
to find God in their own lives (not unlike my own journey seeking
I have been blessed to
receive the gift of a vocation to the Franciscans and to the
priesthood. If I could be of help with anyone trying to discern
God’s call in their own life, please do not hesitate to contact me
at Saint Francis University, or send me an email at
Peace and All Good to All of