I was born and raised in Rappahannock County, a rural community in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As a child, I had a strong interest in farming and was able to convince my city-born parents to let me start my own modest agricultural enterprise, which I named St. Isidore Farm. I also had a great love for hiking and the outdoors, and whenever I could get a break from chores I would go backpacking through the mountains on the Appalachian Trail with my brothers or friends.
My discernment to the priesthood really started back in high school. We lived near our local parish, so my mother would often take us to the church to catch the carpool to school. The door to the church was always unlocked, so we would go inside to wait and pray. After a while, I realized that I liked spending time with God beyond the “usual” Sunday mass. I talked with my pastor and the local vocations director about the possibility of entering college seminary straight out of high school, but I ultimately decided to pursue dating and a degree in forestry instead.
Over the years I met some great people and traveled to exciting places for work in natural resources, but I could feel that something was missing. After graduating from Virginia Tech in 2010 I ended up living in Richmond while working for Virginia State Parks. Most of my free time was spent building my first tiny house on wheels, motorcycling, and backpacking, but in the midst of that busyness I found a group of young adults at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart who were on fire for their faith. It was then that the call to the priesthood returned and I realized that I should seriously discern entering seminary. I left my job in the Fall of 2014 and started helping out at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Petersburg. Amazingly, visiting the sick, working with youth, and serving at Mass filled that void that I had felt for so many years!
I am excited to be serving God through His people as a seminarian for the Diocese of Richmond, and I always appreciate prayers for my continued devotion and obedience to Our Lord!