What is your biggest fear?
The Lord looking at me and saying, “You didn’t know me.” After that, not a lot. I can handle snakes, but I do hate rats.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Close talkers with no sense of personal space … especially in line for confession or at Subway.
Who do you admire?
Parents who really take their vocation seriously. Priests and religious who love their vocations.
If you had unlimited resources, what would you do?
The exact thing I do now … preach and share and teach the Gospel (I’d just sleep in later).
What is your favorite feast day?
Feast of St. Joseph, hands down. Only day he gets the props he so rightly deserves.
What is your best quality?
My humility … just kidding. Can you imagine if someone actually said that? I like to make people laugh and, whenever possible, help them to spiritually and emotionally exhale a bit.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken?
I said yes to ministry. Biggest and riskiest decision of my young life and now, 27 years in, I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t. God is never outdone in generosity, and I wouldn’t do it any differently.
What is your earliest memory?
Growing up in the snow in the Midwest, all bundled up in winter gear to a point where I couldn’t put my arms down (like that kid in “A Christmas Story”). There’s a reason I live in the desert now.
What virtue do you most admire in others?
Humility is the most attractive and admirable virtue in anyone. After that, trustworthiness, candidness and steadfastness.
What words do you use too much?
“Unbelievable,” both in joyful amazement of things my kids do and in shocked awe of people’s ridiculousness.
What gives you the most happiness?
Receiving the Eucharist, date nights with my wife, family nights with our kids on the couch, watching football.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
If I’m being honest — press snooze, but then I pray. Then I read the morning readings, then sports, then the news.
What talent or skill do you wish you had?
Bilocation. Not sure if it’s technically a talent or skill, but it would be amazing. After that, I wish I could play guitar. I learned the drums as a kid instead and they’re harder to travel with or play spontaneously.
What are you most proud of?
My kids. They are amazing. Yes, I’m biased but I spend a LOT of time with teens and my wife — with the Holy Spirit’s help — has overcome me to raise the most incredible and funniest kids ever.
What is your vision of heaven?
Notre Dame winning the National Championship in football, again. After that, a life with no pain, no vanity, no ego, no pressure, no hurt, just loved ones and the overwhelming reality of fulfillment. Oh, and being surrounded by music in perfect pitch as we worship (not like Mass).
What was your first job?
I had a paper route from age 10 until age 14 in the Arizona sun. I was always tan (arms, not chest).
What is your most cherished possession?
I have a rosary I was holding when my wife, Melanie, and I met Pope St. John Paul II and he blessed it.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
At a high school swim meet my junior year I inadvertently mooned the entire Pom & Cheer squad from our high school.
What is your favorite hobby or pastime?
Writing. I never considered myself a writer or author but I have grown to love words and storytelling and it brings me true joy.
What do you value the most in your friends?
Trustworthiness is the most important quality in a friend.
Who is your favorite author?
The Holy Spirit. Sincerely. No book can compare to the Bible. After that, St. John, but that’s still the Holy Spirit ultimately. After that, I really appreciate Dante Alighieri, G.K. Chesterton, Pope St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila.
Who is your fictional hero?
I’ve always liked Han Solo. I like that he’s not a superhero and is aware of his own brokenness and selfishness but digs deep enough and allows greatness and virtue to be unleashed over time.
Which saint do you turn to for intercession the most?
St. Joseph is my go-to guy. I ask him for intercession pretty much daily.
How do you define a “Missionary Disciple”?
Every follower of Jesus is a missionary disciple whether or not he or she understands it. By virtue of our baptism we are called to be missionary disciples. If you wake up with air in your lungs, God’s not done with you yet and you have a mission this day.
What keeps you up at night?
Teenage kids — literally. They want to hang out all night long, which is fun but exhausting. After that, I work full-time in ministry, so there are a thousand things that keep me awake and I have to continually turn over all of my stresses to God (a la Pope St. John XXIII).
How do you want to be remembered when you die?
He was madly in love with his wife, adored his kids and gave everything he had to Christ and his Church.
What is your life motto or mantra?
Actions follow beliefs. Don’t tell me what you believe with words, show me with your life.
What makes you laugh?
People who get upset about really silly things. Life is too short. The only reason to take this life too seriously is if it’s your only one. God laughs. (Ps 2:4)
How do you define success?
To discover what God created and designed you to do and to do it with everything you have and are. Those who figure this out, in a weird way, have it all figured out.