1st year at Pontifical College
Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio
Birthplace/date: Greenville, S.C., Aug. 24, 1980
Home parish: St. Mary’s, Greenville
Family: mom, Mary; dad, Mike; brother, Matthew, 12
Favorite aspect of seminary: the fraternity, it’s a real brotherhood; and the prayer life.
Most difficult aspect: balancing academic and prayer life and being 500 miles away from home
3 people you would like to meet: the pope, Mother Teresa, George Washington
Who/what inspired your vocation: the self-giving example of my parents; my late grandfather, Jack Zabel, who had an extraordinary faith; Father Hayden Vaverek; and my experience at St. Joseph’s High School
Last book read: Executive Orders by Tom Clancy
Reactions from others on entering the seminary: mainly positive; Some questioned the prudence of going (into the seminary) at this stage in my life, but I really felt God was calling me now, and I wasn’t going to put him off.
What career might you have pursued, other than priesthood: law; I was a political science major at Furman for two years.
What time period would you have liked to live in: I’m glad to be living in this time period. Because of secularization, the church is becoming something that is new and dynamic, a way of living. I’m looking forward to being a part of that and to helping lead that (movement).
If you were stuck in a bell tower what 3 items would you want: a long rope, a bungee cord, a cell phone
Do you feel the seminary will adequately prepare you for priesthood: yes; At Josephinum we have spiritual, academic, pastoral, and personal formation. I think those four aspects will help me to be a well-rounded priest.