Something amazing is happening in Lafayette, Louisiana. Our area is seeing a growing wave of male and female vocations. Today, we have 42 seminarians, of which many people in the diocese are aware. What many don’t know is there is a ground swell of young ladies answering the call to religious life.

Like so many south Louisianians, I grew up Catholic. I had the great gift of attending Sts. Leo-Seton Catholic School from pre-K to 8th grade. In seventh grade I began to realize I was more interested in the faith than my family and my peers, but I was afraid to stand out. I took this tension with me to high school at Episcopal School of Acadiana.

Over 10 years, I felt invitations in prayer to discern the priesthood. But like many of my brother priests, it was an invitation I did not originally want to receive. I was the guy who wanted a big family. I played sports, dated girls, traveled around the world, studied business, and I was the president of a college fraternity.