Home Parish: Sacred Heart Parish, East Boston. Seminary: Franciscan University of Steubenville. High School: Boston Latin High School. Hobbies: Photoshop, sports, video games,
When was the first time you thought of priesthood?
When I was younger and people would comment on how they could see me as a priest.
What were major Catholic activities you participated in prior to the seminary?
Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society in the U.S.A.
What is your favorite Scripture passage? Why?
“‘...You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: `You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Mk 12:30-31). It reminds me that God must always be the No. 1 person in my life before and above everything else.
What was your involvement in parish life before entering the seminary?
Who influenced/inspired you to priesthood? Please explain.
My pastor, Father Wayne Belschner, because the things he does for others reflects his love for God.
What would you say to a young man who thinks he may have a vocation?
Talk to a priest about it. Keep on praying. Lastly, take an application and apply. (In other words, “Don’t be afraid” and take a chance.)
Please tell us, what are some of the most important parts of discernment?
Trust in God, persevere, be consistent in prayer, and go to daily Mass when possible.
Is seminary formation different from what you thought it would be? How is it similar and different from your expectations?
It has lived up to my expectations. I was expecting academic challenges and consistency in prayer. It is definitely a different environment than home.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I am short and small but I run fast and jump high.
What activities would you recommend in order to foster a culture of vocations?
Have a “plan of life.” You might consider including the following: Morning offering, mental prayer, Mass, Angelus, rosary, reading the Gospel and some spiritual reading, some small act of penance, a short visit to the tabernacle, examination of conscience, three Hail Mary’s at bedtime and the Sign of the Cross with holy water.
Did anyone invite you to consider priesthood? Please explain.
Yes. On one random day, a friend of mine wanted to talk to the pastor about the priesthood. He was interested in considering it for himself. At some point during the conversation, the pastor said he knew another good candidate and mentioned me.
How did you come to know Jesus Christ?
Through daily prayer, daily Mass and the love of my family.
What were some of the spiritual events or activities that helped you develop and shape your personal relationship with Christ and his Church?
Retreats with the Vietnamese Eucharistic Society and a vocation retreat at St. John’s Seminary.
What are some of your favorite and most important spiritual readings/books/passages?
Holy Bible, “Confessions of St. Augustine,” “Diary of Saint Faustina: Divine Mercy in My Soul.”
What is your day like in the seminary?
Ordinary but holy.
Through the cardinal, God is calling you personally to help rebuild his Church. How must the priest respond to this mandate today?
The priest must willingly and completely surrender himself to be an instrument of God’s powerful hands.
How does the priest best follow in the footsteps of the Apostles?
To be faithful to his vocation and serve others in holiness.
The first step in responding to God’s call is always hard because of the many wonderful things that we are asked to give up in our current life and fears that say I’m not worthy or good enough. Well, that is where we must trust in God completely and let him lead us. If we do our part, God will provide whatever is lacking in us.
The Pilot, in cooperation with the Office of Vocations, is publishing a series of brief profiles of the men preparing for the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston. For other profiles or if you think God may be calling you to a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, visit the Vocations Office Web site at www.VocationsBoston.org.