What is your goal in your work?
I feel very blessed to work for the archdiocese, where I can help promote all the wonderful work that is being done to support parishes, schools and outreach programs that serve people in southeastern Wisconsin.
Why do you have a passion for Catholic education?
I believe that Catholic schools help form students into the people God created them to be. They truly educate the whole person: spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and physically. Catholic schools represent the greatest hope for the future of the Church and our society.
You are a student in Cor Unum at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology — what is that?
Cor Unum is a graduate studies program designed to identify and develop lay leaders with the courage to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s reconciling love in word and action. The class meets every Monday night and one Saturday a month. Students who complete the program will earn a master’s degree in theology, but more importantly, they will be equipped to evangelize and heal a fractured world through the Gospel’s message of reconciliation, justice and mercy.
What do you like best about Cor Unum?
I really enjoy the intellectual challenge of taking a deep dive into why Catholics believe what we believe. I also enjoy the cohort structure, which fosters the development of a supportive learning community.
Tell us about your recent pilgrimage to Italy.
My wife, Karen, and I had an extraordinary opportunity to participate in a 10-day pilgrimage to Italy organized by the Archdiocese Liturgical Musicians Association. We toured 12 magnificent churches in Rome, Siena, Orvieto, Cortona and Assisi, and got to sing for Mass at five locations. It was an amazing experience.
How far was your hotel from St. Peter’s Square?
We stayed at the Residenza San Paolo VI in Rome, which is directly across the street from St. Peter’s Square. We had a gorgeous view of the St. Peter’s Basilica dome from the hotel terrace.
What was your favorite part?
It is hard to pick one favorite, but being able to participate in the weekly audience with Pope Francis was definitely a highlight. Our group also got a private tour of the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, which was pretty special.
What is something that inspires you?
Seeing the birth and burial places of several Catholic saints while we were in Italy had a significant impact on me. The reality of their lives and stories is very inspiring for my own faith journey.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
There is no such thing as “priorities” (plural). You can only have one priority and that is to love God and seek to do his will. Everything else flows from that one priority.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I am so proud of my family. My wife is the director of music and liturgy at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Greenfield and my three children are all smart, caring, funny, successful adults. Plus, we are getting ready to welcome our first grandchild in a few weeks.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I performed with the Milwaukee Conntinental Youth Band at the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1982. That was a lot of fun.