“The vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience enable me to more fully answer the call to fraternity and ministry within our Catholic Church as a Capuchin friar.”
My journey into Capuchin religious life has been guided by many life experiences and encounters with others. I was raised Catholic by my family and St. Basil Parish in Cleveland, OH, who instilled in me a sacramental life and Gospel values. However, as an insecure and rebellious teenager, I became more interested in finding my own way and pursuing paths to happiness that ultimately left me empty.
In college, by the grace of God, I was led into a design program in which I could express my creativity within a community of other creative students who inspired a more positive and open outlook in my life.
Around the time of graduation I began to sense a calling back to the Catholic faith. I began attending Mass, participating in faith formation and parish life with other young adults, and reaching out to the poor in Cleveland. I eventually landed a dream job at Moen Incorporated designing high-end kitchen and bathroom products within a creative design, marketing, research and engineering teams, traveling the world, and earning financial security.
Within my growing faith experiences and professional life, I began to sense a desire to be closer with the Lord and serve His Church in a greater capacity. I opened up to the idea of vocation options and met a Capuchin friar, Fr. Moises Villalta, on one of his vocation visits to Cleveland.
I visited with the friars and was led to begin spiritual direction with another Capuchin friar, Fr. Lester Knoll. Fr. Lester helped me sort through the desires I was experiencing and discern the call of the Lord within them. After a few years of working with Fr. Lester, I decided to take a leave of absence from work and embark on a pilgrimage around the world to finally decide what I should do. While I did not receive any miraculous visions or voices, I did experience a great sense of faith in the people whom I met and found the courage to trust in the Lord as I step out into the unknown.
I entered formation with the Capuchins in 2013 and began to be formed in the charism and ideals St. Francis embodies in the areas of transformative prayer, fraternal charity, and solidarity with the poor. I’ve found that the brothers within the Capuchin Province of St. Augustine embrace these ideals and strive to live them out to the best of their ability. The formation I’ve received year after year has nourished my spiritual and interpersonal growth. The vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience enable me to more fully answer the call to fraternity and ministry within our Catholic Church as a Capuchin friar.