I have been on the pilgrims path, following Jesus since 1993. From the very beginning I sensed a call to serve Christ and His Church being the direct beneficiary of God’s grace and restorative power. Having spent years living on the edge, my journey to conversion compelled me to a single desire, to communicate Christ’s love through teaching, evangelization and wholehearted service to those marginalized in society. By God’s grace I have been able to serve Christ and the Church in the United States and in 25 countries around the world.
After my initial conversion I found my path to service through leadership at Hillcrest Church in Dallas, Texas. Eventually I became the Campus Pastor at SMU for Hillcrest Church serving on campus for six years. I spent the next four years serving that church community in a variety of roles as Pastor of College & Career Adults, Youth Ministry, and Community Outreach. Sensing that it was time to move, I resigned. Heather and I simplified, sold many of our possessions and moved our family to an urban neighborhood in New Haven, Connecticut to live among and serve the poor.
In New Haven I focused on addressing issues of Food Security and Urban Restoration. Over the next five years I worked with a community of other like-minded Christians to improve the physical environment of my neighborhood, ensured that at-risk families had food to eat and entered into dialogue with neighbors on the meaning of the Gospel message. This was an intense and rewarding time in my journey.
It was during this time that I felt drawn to study the history of religious orders within the Catholic Church. I began by picking up books on the Franciscans and the Rule of St. Benedict. While reading about the life of St. Francis of Assisi, I felt an immediate connection. It was this particular connection that thrust me on an unsuspecting journey – a journey home to the Catholic Church. From this point forward I began spending time in prayer at Catholic parishes, explored the mass, and entered into numerous conversations with Catholic priests, nuns and friars.
While serving as a Director for Wonder Voyage Mission’s in Comayagua, Honduras I was waiting for the return of my team on their last day in country. Standing in the shadow of the Cathedral I saw a grey robed man walking across the plaza in the center of town. Realizing this to be a Franciscan Friar I engaged Brother Paul in conversation. I explained my journey towards the Catholic Church and desire to enter into a more serious dialogue regarding Catholic thought and theology. Brother Paul handed me a list of Franciscan contacts in New York and New Jersey. Upon my arrival back in the United States I reached out to the contacts on my list. To my surprise I received a message from Fr. Glenn Sudano, CFR. It was during a series of intense dialogues, retreats at the novice house and attendance at various functions with my new friends that me and my family decided to attend RCIA and enter into the Catholic Church.
I love to learn and was intrigued by the books I was reading and the people I was interacting with. During my time in Connecticut I decided to go back to school. I completed my B.A. in Religious Studies and M.A. in Theology at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, CT. This process solidified my decision to come home to the Catholic Church. After RCIA was complete and during the final stretch of my academic program I began to search for a position of service within the Catholic Church. I had passionate desire to leverage my experiences as a Protestant Pastor, missionary and convert to challenge Catholic’s to a deeper walk with Christ and commitment to the Church. It was during this search that I found St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Community in Plano, Texas and served there for three years, finishing my tenure as the Director of Pastoral Ministries.
I look forward to sharing my journey with you and your community. To book me for an inspiring talk at your next Parish Mission, Lecture Series, Class or Conference please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org