Home Parish: Divine Mercy, Central Square
Year in Formation: Theology III
Place: St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore
Favorite book: The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
Favorite food: Italian food
Favorite Dessert: Anything with chocolate
Favorite hymn: O God Beyond All Praising
Favorite Gospel story: Perserverance in Prayer (Luke 11:5-13)
Favorite Saint: St. John Vianney
What’s your opinion on cats? I’m not a cat person
What’s the coolest place you’ve ever visited? Assisi, Italy
If you could go one place in the world, and money were not an option, where would it be? The Holy Land
Night owl or morning person? Night owl, but I wish I were a morning person!
What is your favorite church in the Diocese of Syracuse? Divine Mercy, Central Square NY (Editor’s Note: This is Nate’s home parish and also the newest church in the Diocese. You should definitely make a visit and check it out!)
What surprised you most about your first day at seminary? The friendships I made.
What do you look forward to most about priesthood? Celebrating Mass
What advice would you give to someone discerning priesthood?
I would recommend prayer, but deliberate prayer asking God to help show you what your vocation is. Be open to whatever you are shown. Talk to a priest about the priesthood.
How did you get to this point?
I first felt called to the priesthood when I was a young alter server, but I would tell myself that priesthood was not what I wanted. I eventually came to the realization that it was not about me, but what God was calling me for. While working for Target as a Logistic Executive Team Leader in Charleston, West Virginia I became open to learning more about the priesthood.
After I graduated from college I was given the opportunity to work for Target. I saw this as my opportunity to work towards what I thought would bring me happiness: becoming a leader for a large corporation and using my Business Administration degree. However, I discovered that this would not bring me as much happiness as I had expected. It was at this moment when the call to the priesthood reentered my life with more intensity than before. I started to pray daily, attend daily mass, and feel greater happiness, as I grew closer to the Lord. I eventually started to talk to a priest in WV to find out more about the priesthood. I knew I wanted to return to Syracuse, so I reached out to Fr. O’Connor to talk more about the priesthood. My vocational journey has been a process of discovery and gradual openness to God’s call, and my advice to others is to take the small but significant steps of reaching out to others, especially supportive priests, when God is knocking lovingly at your door.