I was 16 years old, late into my sophomore year of high school when I first started to think about the priesthood. Before I was 16, becoming a priest never even crossed my mind, despite having members of the clergy in my family. Growing up, I wanted to be either a high school teacher or a lawyer. This changed when over time, when I began to think about my future. I began to rethink the two jobs I have always wanted, for a reason I had not known. Because of this, I began to pray to God and ask Him what he wants me to do with my life because at this point I was sure God was calling me to something different. While praying and discerning about what God was calling me to do, a particular family member and his job kept coming to mind, and every time I thought about this particular job, I felt as if God was telling me to take a deeper look at this. This was my cousin Fr. Joseph Scardella who he himself is a priest for the Syracuse Diocese. After taking time to pray over this and discerning this, I called my cousin Fr. Scardella, and Fr. Paul Angelicchio whom my family has known for years, and both of them helped steer me in the right direction by giving me advice on discernment and how to better understand “the call.” To them, I am very grateful for their help.
The decision to enter seminary was not an easy decision for me. However, after two years of discerning, and talking with priests and seminarians from around the Diocese, I knew that it was time. I realize this is only the beginning of my journey, and I owe a heartfelt appreciation to my family for their great support, to my mentors: Fr. Richard Prior, Fr. Daniel Muscalino, and John Sheridan who have just been a great inspiration and a great deal of help throughout my journey!