I had met the monk through mutual friends and he would come over periodically to take painting lessons from me. I didn’t in the least realize that this friendship would lead to becoming a monk.
Since I was 20 I have led a strong and active prayer life. It wasn’t unusual to find me praying the rosary or the Stations of the Cross after the daily morning mass or serving as a lector or Eucharistic minister on Sundays. But the idea of monasticism never entered my mind. There were times where people at mass would encourage me to enter the seminary and become a priest, but whenever I prayed over the matter I always felt led away from it. This was not the case when I was first told I might have a vocation to be a monk. It hit me right in my gut and shocked me straight to the heart.
With a lot of prayer I was able to muster up the courage for my first visit to St. Procopius after several long phone conversations with Br. Guy, the vocation director at the time. I stayed for a week. During that time I got to talk, eat and work with the monks. With each day I knew deeper in my heart that God was calling me to this place with these men. So, I moved back to Southern Maryland to wrap up my affairs and joined in August of 2000.
By God’s grace I am still here and with even more grace I am able to say that there is no other place in the world I would rather be to await my fulfillment in the Lord.