Favorite hobby: Music! I enjoy playing piano and guitar especially with my family, who are all musically inclined as well. I enjoy incorporating music into prayer especially at Eucharistic Adoration and in personal prayer.
Favorite scripture passage: This is a tough one… I’ll say 1 John 4, especially v. 9-10, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent us his Son to be the expiation for our sins.” So much beauty and power in this! The foundation of God’s relationship with His sons and daughters is LOVE. God’s transforming love is freely given to us because He loves us that much, not because we earned it or deserved it.
An interesting fun fact about me: Part of my apostolic work in my priestly formation at the seminary in Rome includes serving as a tour guide of the Vatican Necropolis (Scavi) beneath St. Peter’s Basilica which gives pilgrims and tourists the opportunity to see an ancient burial ground from the 1st century AD; one is able to see and reverence the remains of St. Peter who was buried in the necropolis after his martyrdom during Nero’s persecution in the 60s AD.
Favorite Saint: Another tough one! I’ll say St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, who was a 19th/early 20th century Carmelite sister [a younger contemporary of St. Thérèse of Lisieux (see Fr. Erik’s bio)]. Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity had a rich relationship with the Holy Trinity and was deeply convicted that her vocation could be summed up in this way: living as a laudem gloriae, a praise of God’s glory (see Eph. 1); her simple yet profound understanding of her vocation helps orient me in my life as I strive to be a faithful friend of Jesus and servant of His Church, always living and serving to praise Him and to lead others to do so. This living as a ‘praise of glory’ reminds me of the beginning of the Eucharistic prayer at Mass: “It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks…” It is our duty and salvation to give praise and thanks to God in all we do.
Favorite Disciple: St. Peter, a friend and disciple of the Lord who we can see was all over the place, at one moment walking on water in trusting faith, the next moment sinking because he doubts; at one moment declaring Christ to be God and the next moment trying to prevent Jesus from suffering his death in Jerusalem; at one moment denying and abandoning Jesus during His Passion and the next moment being forgiven and reconciled to his Risen Lord. Peter was a broken man, yet Jesus called Peter and transformed his brokenness and made him the rock of the Church (rock = Peter or petrus).
Favorite Sports Team: Bawlmer O’s (but maybe I really just enjoy the atmosphere of attending or watching a baseball game with family or good friends).