Ordained: May 26, 2007 I am as the youngest of five children who grew up on a family owned and operated dairy farm in Winneshiek County , situated between the towns of Ossian and Decorah. Our family belonged to St. Francis De Sales Parish in Ossian where I attended Catholic School, grades 1-8. From 1990-1994, I attended South Winneshiek Senior High School. I had always felt a calling and attraction to the priesthood even as a young child but over the course of several years, I had to gradually become more comfortable with the idea of becoming a priest. My parents had a strong faith, led a simple life and tried to teach their children these same values. My parents instilled in me that attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation was the highest priority. Except in rare circumstances, my father did not do any unnecessary field or farm work on those days. Their strong faith influenced me so greatly that I took great care to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation while I attended Loras College from 1996-2000. I left the seminary with a deeper understanding of who I was as an individual, who God is, and how His ways are not always my ways. For me, the most difficult part of the seminary was learning that my time was not my own and that the formation process was quite rigorous with several demands placed upon my time. The surprises that I have encountered in the priesthood are the deep love and respect that many people still have for priests and the great demand there is for priestly ministry. I am deeply touched and surprised at how difficult it is for those in our parish communities when we are reassigned and it is time for us to say goodbye and move to the next assignment.