What parish did you go to growing up?
I went to a couple of them. My younger years were at St. Joseph parish in Oneida, where I received my first communion. In my teen years, we were members at St. John the Baptist church in Howard. I was confirmed at St. John’s and the priest from St. John’s also con-celebrated at our marriage, which was at St. Mary’s in Port Washington.
Do you have a favorite childhood memory of church?
In my early teens, I played the classical guitar. This led to opportunities to play during Mass, which I enjoyed. I wish I would have stuck with it. Another fond memory was my TEC weekend (Teens Encounter Christ). This was one of those “seed” planting moments in my teenage years. My upper teen years were rough from a faith standpoint, but the TEC was a bright spot for me and a faith booster.
What did you do with your business administration and marketing degrees?
I’ve been in corporate America my entire career. I worked for 15 years at Manpower Group and held a variety of leadership roles in administrative services and operations. I had a four-year stint at Caterpillar (formerly Bucyrus) in their Global Mining Division. At Caterpillar, I was in the sales organization and led strategic initiatives. I currently work at FIS Global, where I’m in a role with responsibility for growing strategic partnerships with key clients.
How did you meet your wife?
In September, Angie and I will celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary. I met Ang at our very first job out of college, before I got into corporate America. We both sold coupon cards door to door in what was advertised as a direct marketing company. Needless to say, we only lasted there for four months, but we met each other and so it was destiny.
How have you raised your children to love the Church?
We are big believers in the family being the Domestic Church. So, we try to model our faith to them by living out ours in a meaningful way and by investing in a Catholic education for them.
Did you have a major conversion moment in your life?
Early in our marriage, Ang was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. That three-year stretch of her treatment and recovery was terribly difficult, but also drew us both closer to the Lord. We were told that we wouldn’t be able to have kids because of the chemotherapy, but we proved the doctors wrong on that one – God is good. I also had a life-changing moment at the first Men of Christ conference. I was in my early 30s and it was just one of those “burning bush” moments that unfolded over the course of that day and culminated at the closing Mass. I walked out of the conference a changed person and my relationship with the Lord and the Church has never been the same. God definitely knew where I was at, and where I was headed, and certainly got my attention. I thank God that my mother insisted that my dad, brother and I attend that conference.
What made you decide to study for the diaconate?
I never dreamed that I would enter the diaconate. After my Men of Christ conversion, though, it didn’t seem so crazy anymore. I was actively involved in the Church by then and always felt that I was drawn to be of service. The deacons at our parish really encouraged me over the course of many years to at least think about it. It took a good five years before I was brave enough to admit that this might be a calling for me and then another year to discern with my wife. Once I made the step of applying, I knew it was in God’s hands from then on.
How do you feel like your life is in service to Christ?
These years of discernment and formation are most definitely preparing me to live a life of service – to the Church, the world and my family. I completely feel confident that this is what God wants of me and I’m eager and willing to carry out his will – whatever that may be.
What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Stopped drinking alcohol. I have not had a drink in more than 13 years … by the grace of God. A distant second would be pole-vaulting. I was pretty good at it in high school, but looking back on it, I can’t believe I was that crazy to do it.
What do you hope is something people remember about you?
That I was a good husband, a good father and lived a Christ-like life.
What’s your favorite local restaurant?
The Copper Dock in Hubertus.