When did you first feel called to religious life? Do you remember a specific place? A person?
The first time I felt called to religious life was at the funeral of Fr. George Magee, OSA at Villanova during my senior year in 2019. I had gotten to know Fr. Magee during my time at Nova and frequently had lunch with him at the monastery. His was the first Augustinian funeral I had been to and when the friars began singing the Salve Regina and followed the casket out of the Church, I was struck with this feeling that I might be called to join the order.
What's something fun / something you enjoy about living in community?
What I've come to enjoy most about living in community is mealtimes. Invariably there are jokes being shot back and forth across the table and the larger the group, the more laughter fills the room. The Augustinians tend to be a lively and social bunch. In my experience, casual meals are when friars' social energy and wit are on full display.
What is the best kept secret / most underrated aspect of the Tradition and Spirituality of Augustine?
We are all familiar with Augustine's line from Confessions, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You,” but I think sometimes we lose sight of just how important it is to the Christian understanding of humanity and the implication it has in our world today. Our society today is having an identity crisis. People do not know who they are or what they are for and so their hearts do not know where to find rest. I think this aspect of Augustinian spirituality is underrated, because I am not sure we quite realize how huge an impact it stands to have at this time in our country's history.
Do you have a hobby / passion that you enjoy spending time on?
One of my greatest passions is writing. Since my freshman year at Villanova, I have made a habit of keeping some sort of writing project going on--in addition to my normal work--to occupy my free time. I find it provides me with a good outlet for creative energy and helps me think through ideas in an original way. The result of this passion, so far, has been two books published since 2020.