President of Paradigm Missions
On December 28th, 2008 I knelt down on the snow-covered pavement of Cincinnati, Ohio and asked my beautiful girlfriend Grace if she would marry me. I don’t remember much of what stammered out of my mouth, but I do remember saying, “I don’t know what adventures lie ahead, but I do know we will be on mission”. Little did I know how prophetic my words would be. Now almost 13 years into our marriage, 5 kids deep, and 12 years of serving the Church in varying capacities, the Holy Spirit seems to only be getting started on this adventure and we are very excited about this next step with Paradigm Missions.
I was raised in an incredible Catholic family that placed the Holy Spirit as our principle guiding agent, and with the Sacraments as nourishment for the adventure. Starting from a very young age I always knew God was real. I eventually learned that He loved me personally, and was calling me into the abundance of His plan. In my adolescent years, I went to a non-denominational school. If I am honest, in many ways (though not formally) I fell away from my
Catholic faith. I struggled with all things Catholic, and saw so much good and beauty in the way our protestant brothers and sisters lived out mission. Through what can only be attributed to the Lord’s relentless desire to bring me home, I profoundly came to realize Christ’s true presence in the Eucharist and fell in love with Him all over again. I also encountered the gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit and finally accepted that my faith was personal, not private. For the first time I was open to listening to the voice that had been echoing in my soul for so long that was saying “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”. In order to live the mission I was feeling called towards, I knew I needed to be formed. I decided to go to school for Catechetics and Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. It was during my time there that the Lord put together the pieces of my life thus far. It was there that my hunger for mission received its tools for battle. It was there, that my prayer went from a hobby to a way of life. It was there that I learned the value of true brotherhood and the power of a missionary and intentional community. It was there that the Lord also gave me my vocation, brought me to my beautiful wife, and eventually upon graduating sent me back to my hometown of San Diego to be on mission.
The Lord has given me the blessing of serving in a variety of ways within the Church in San Diego as well as nationally. I have served as a youth minister for High School and Junior High youth at multiple parishes. I have served as a college campus minister at San Diego State University. I have served as Associate Regional Director for California through the missionary apostolate of FOCUS. The Lord truly used my time in those varying ministries to humble and teach me what it is to truly live mission. I am excited to step deeper into that call, while simultaneously calling others on to live mission with me. Additionally, I have come to realize that mission must exist within the context of an intentional communal life. I was blessed to grow up within a Catholic Covenant Community and then was profoundly shaped by the Catholic men’s household I was part of during my college years. Both of these entities taught me the importance of living life within missionary communities. Like two lungs breathing as one, we must simultaneously live our lives out in a missionary and communal way. This is what I desire for Paradigm Missions. This is what I desire for the Church, and most intentionally for the Church here in San Diego.
I know that in order for this to happen, it cannot only come from expertise, education, or life experience, but needs to be a work of the Holy Spirit. It must stem from His action in our lives and overflowing into our communities. May my family, Paradigm Missions, and I always be surrendered vessels to the work of the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit and fall afresh.