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Montfortian Preaching

I am originally from the town of Jim Thorpe, a small mining and railroad town in the Pennsylvania Coal Region, and I am very much a product of both the local culture and the physical geography of the economically struggling yet spiritually rich and stunningly beautiful corner of the world defined by the small towns of Pennsylvania’s Carbon and Schuykill Counties.  I received the benefit of 12 years of Catholic education, graduating from Marian High School in 1983.  Upon graduation, I moved away from rural Pennsylvania to Boston where I lived while working toward a degree in Physics from MIT.  In many ways, most especially, however, on the intellectual and creative levels of my personality, my years at MIT were as profoundly formative as any other period of my life.  Following my time at MIT, I moved to the Midwest to pursue PhD studies at the University of Wisconsin in the field of Materials Science.

It was during my time of graduate studies in Wisconsin that I was introduced to St. Louis de Montfort’s book The True Devotion to Mary.  This came at a time when my practice of my faith had surfaced within me the difficult, yet necessary, question of what the ultimate direction for my life truly needed to be.  My response to the spirituality outlined by Fr. de Montfort in that book was immediate and visceral and of such strength that I was taken by surprise.  It so quickly became such a natural part of me that my growth in this particular spirituality and my discernment of a sense of vocation became of a piece with one another.  This ultimately lead to my laying aside my doctoral studies after 5 years in the program that I might test the waters of a missionary vocation at the service of the Church.

In 1993 I entered the U.S. Province of the Missionaries of the Company of Mary, that small community founded by Louis de Montfort himself, as a candidate.  The years since have been grace-filled and rich.  They have included thirteen trips to our mission in central Nicaragua, service as the parochial vicar at a bilingual parish, campus ministry, and mission and retreat preaching across the United States and in Mexico.  Recently I have also had the opportunity to offer a course on devotion to Our Lady and the spirituality of St. Louis de Montfort to clergy in India and to offer a series of programs on devotion to Our Lady to Catholics at several parishes in the United Arab Emirates.  Presently I am serving as the managing editor for Montfort Publications and as the acting director of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Island in addition to my itinerant preaching commitments in the service of promoting the spirituality of St. Louis de Montfort.