When did you first feel called to religious life? Do you remember a specific place? A person?
I first felt called to religious life when I was teaching in Northern Virginia. I realized that it was possible to be a priest-educator. There were religious priests that ran schools and universities as well as parishes in the DC Metro area. Through conversations with my mentor teacher at the time, Terri White, I was introduced to the Augustinians in the summer of 2019.
What's something fun / something you enjoy about living in community?
The things that I enjoy most about living in community are what others might consider the banalities of daily life. I enjoy the conversations that grow out of sharing meals in common, particularly around the island at breakfast and around the dinner table every evening. I enjoy the time spent in each other's company watching the news in the evening or gathering for community time on Thursday nights.
What is the best kept secret / most underrated aspect of the Tradition and Spirituality of Augustine?
I think the most underrated aspect of the Tradition and Spirituality of Augustine is the call to cultivate the interior life. So much emphasis in the Augustinian tradition is on one mind and heart on the way to God, growing closer to God through community. But, Augustine recognized that "You were within me, but I was outside...you were with me, but I was not with you." It is through growing in interiority that we come to understand our true selves and deepen our relationship with God.
Do you have a hobby / passion that you enjoy spending time on?
My go-to answer is usually that I enjoy cooking for people. I love the way that sharing a meal together cultivates a spirit of joy and builds community. A more recent answer to this question is that I have begun to spend time sketching as a form of drawing meditation. I find the artistic process to be very centering and peaceful, and there is beauty in the product of that time spent in meditation.