Photo courtesy Vocation Office
Help us expand our reach! Please share this article
Parish/Assignment: Coordinator of Deaf Catholic Ministries
Place of birth: Providence, R.I.
How many brothers and sisters do you have?: None
High school: Bishop Connelly, Fall River, Mass
Undergraduate -- Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Graduate/Seminary -- St. John’s Seminary
Date of ordination: May 25, 2002
What assignments have you had since ordination?
St. Cecilia’s in Ashland as parochial vicar, coordinator of Deaf Catholic Ministries and part-time parochial vicar at Sacred Heart in Newton.
What have been some of the greatest joys for you as a priest?
Helping adults to understand what it means to follow Christ. Helping people who would otherwise be alone to die well. Helping my fellow priests. Praying the Liturgy of the Hours with the faithful. Becoming more aware that if you die with Christ and live by faith, not by sight, you will rise with him.
Who influenced your vocation most to consider the priesthood?
Father Maroney. He was a simple, quiet, old man. He did little less than Mass, quiet adoration, stations of the Cross, Holy week, and Holy days. But he did them slow and I could see he was caught up in God’s love. I remember the help he gave once to a family with a leaky roof. He was patient and humble and full of faith. At the same time he was powerless and so utterly boring. He was, like the Eucharist, a mystery.
What events or practices in your life helped you to discover and discern your call to the priesthood?
I made my life busy with the work of the Lord in college. I had some good friends from high school and college who helped me to grow. We played music together and that was a good thing. I tried to pray the Liturgy of the Hours a little in college. My good friends got married and I wanted to baptize their babies. That was a thing that helped me see my desire for the salvation of souls. Having good friends in the faith was and is an ongoing treasure in general for my discernment and living out of my particular instance of Christ’s priesthood.
What is one of your favorite Scripture passages and why?
I don’t tend to pick out one favorite. Sometimes this or that passage comes out with great meaning to me. Lately I have been thinking about the resurrection accounts. It is amazing to me how Christ points to the sacrament of confession and how fitting the feast of Divine Mercy is on the first Sunday after Easter Sunday. The ongoing mercy of Christ is so central to the new life we have from Christ’s resurrection. This new life did not take away our inclination to sin. It does not promise a utopia here on Earth. And so the sacrament of reconciliation is not just for Lent. It is given by Christ risen from the dead on the first Sunday after the resurrection. That Scripture has been new for me lately.
What are some of your hobbies?
I like music, movies, walking, hiking, skiing, computers, philosophy, jokes -- just to name a few.
What advice would you give to a young man who is considering the priesthood?
Cherish your friends in the faith.
What are some of your favorite books/ spiritual reading/ magazines?
G.K. Chesteron’s books and articles. I like “The Story of a Soul” by St. Therese of Lisieux. My mother, Susan St. Martin, is a poet and I like reading her poems.
Through the cardinal, God is calling each of us personally to help rebuild his Church. How must the priest respond to this mandate today?
I think a priest needs to go back to basics and be obedient. This means that we need to help the whole Church to be obedient. I don’t think we have been doing the best job at following our own rules. We should admit this and redouble our efforts to follow our own rules. For example, a priest should read the New General Instruction of the Roman Missal and have the spiritual discipline to follow it. That is just an example.
When Cardinal Seán came to Boston, he wrote a pastoral letter entitled: “Vocations: Everybody’s Business.” What are some ways that we can help all individuals and families understand their role in promoting and supporting vocations?
By being a faithful priest. By being a faithful married person. By being generous. These are the basics that will inspire people. If we did those basics well we would have many priests and nuns and sisters and brothers and persons of the sacrament of marriage.
Featured Web sites
Upcoming Events in the Vocation Office
> Oct. 25: Boston Catechetical Congress in Randolph, Mass.
> Oct. 31: “Night of the Living” (Young Adults) at St. Leonard’s in North End, Boston
> Nov. 4: St. Andrew Dinner (High School Men) at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton