Sandy Spring, Md.
Class of 1998
The Franciscans at St. Bonaventure ignited a passion for science, simple living, and service. This passion touches on every aspect of my life — professional and personal. I teach high school chemistry and am constantly challenged and rewarded by young people as I seek to find ways to better share my passion for the physical world.
My wife and I met at Mt. Ireneaus, practically the Center of the Simple Living Universe, and I am blessed to share this passion with her. We bought a house very small by modern standards within walking distance to our church and grocery store.
We happen to belong to the Franciscan parish St. Camillus in Silver Spring, Md., which both strengthens and challenges us in living more true to the Gospel. This parish strives to bring awareness AND action to many pressing social concern — the working poor, adequate housing, immigration reform, international issues from the Haitian earthquake, conflict in the Congo, oppression of Palestinian Christians, just to name a few.
The passion toward service has led my wife and I to serve on mission trips through St. Camillus. We’ve been to Bolivia to build houses with Habitat for Humanity International, and to Camden, N.J., to help refurbish the St. Francis House at our brother parish, St. Anthony of Padua.
All of this looks good on paper in hindsight, but please realize none of these things were planned — or even initially desired. A lot like the life of St. Francis actually. But by being open to where the Spirit was calling us, although afraid and scary at times, we said “YES” to God and that’s all was needed to get the ball rolling. He takes care of everything else.
Seeing how certain friars lived out their vocation (Fr. Peter Schneible, Fr. Dan Riley, Fr. Dan Hurley, Fr. Louis McCormick, Br. Joe Katula, Fr. Bob Stewart, Fr. Conrad Harkins, Fr. Jud Weiksnar, Fr. John Keleher, just to name a few), my friends in Campus Ministry (now called University Ministries), and the chemistry department at SBU was all it took to send me over the edge!