What first attracted you to monastic life?

I think my first attraction to monastic life was suddenly finding a committed, intentional Christian community. At that point in my life, I was focused more on establishing my career as an educator. So when I did stumble across this place, it surprised me. Perhaps that made the initial attraction stronger and more authentic: an unexpected gift, not an X on a map 

What does conversatio morum mean to you?

It means every day is a new opportunity to try again. Conversatio means I don’t have to have it all figured out today, but I do need to try just a little bit more than yesterday. In particular, silence and striving need to be centered and focused on Christ.

What advice would you offer to anyone discerning a vocation?

Strive to live a good life within the circumstances you find yourself. Cultivate not only prayer, but also relationships and interests. At some point God will speak through those, if you are listening. You can’t trick God! Leave space for him, listen, and trust in his providential love. It’s easier said than done, most days!

Tell us about your current responsibilities. 

Right now teaching middle school science, math, and religion at St. Benedict Catholic School in Atchison. My first year back in the classroom has been a great blessing and challenge.

Has anything surprised you?

I am a monk; this is not something I planned on or anticipated. I am routinely surprised at the Father’s providence and care for this monastery and for me.

What was your favorite Halloween costume?

Space cop

What is your favorite super hero?

I think I am most like Night Crawler.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

By middle school I knew I had a home in that Church, but I did not feel like I completely belonged.  It was a reminder that we are pilgrims on earth.

What attracted you to Saint Benedict’s Abbey?

After attending several retreats I fell in love with the authenticity and honesty of the community.

What was formation like?

My time in monastic formation has been coming to a more concrete knowledge of what I already knew in the abstract.

What inspires you in your life of work and prayer?

The heroic faith of the older monks in the monastery for inspires me.  They are consistently giving – and giving witness.  That is not easy, especially in a changing world.  But that is the witness of monasticism: adjust to the times but stay true to yourself, stay true to the community.

I wanted to move toward final vows with trust and acceptance while listening to what my new community and God expect of me.  It was a time of growth in self-knowledge.  I have also seen my relationships grow with my brothers.  I have grown in trust.

So what advice does he have for someone discerning monastic life?

Strive to be a good man where you are.  Be patient where you are.  Be present.  God will lead you to where you need to be.