My name is Joel, and I am a native Kansan and cradle Catholic.  I am the youngest of five children, and both my parents and older siblings have had a huge impact on my maturity into Christian manhood. 

I was born and raised in Atchison, Kansas (home of Benedictine College) where I graduated from high school at Maur Hill in 2008. I attended Kansas University for four years, and graduated with a degree in Spanish, while studying the pre-medicine curriculum with the intention of following in my dad and brother's footsteps by becoming a doctor. 

It was really in college that I had my first major encounter with Christ (or rather that I finally received His encounter) during my years at KU. It was through the community at the St. Lawrence Catholic Center that I would come to realize that authentic love and joy were to be found in His Church. 
The unity of this community brought me close to the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, but it would be through the ministry of the sisters of the Apostles of the Interior Life that I would develop a daily relationship with Jesus in prayer and Sacraments that gradually (and not so gradually at times) transformed my life and enkindled my lukewarm heart. 

Through regular spiritual direction with Sr. Elena, AVI, I finally came to the foundation of my faith in the person of Jesus Christ, and in October of 2010, within a year and half of my initial conversion of heart, I received unmistakeable peace and joy with the thought of giving my life totally to God in the consecrated life and as a Priests of the Apostles of the Interior Life. 

Over the past few years, I have appreciated more and more the beautiful calling to give the whole of myself to the Lord through the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. 
In this life, I believe, there is no better way to follow Jesus, the poor, chaste, and obedient one par excellence! 
I know that the Lord has also placed a desire on my heart to intimately share life with others, and so that fact that this community so strongly emphasizes being together to pray, eat, recreate, and do apostolate was very attractive. 
I have lived the great joy of meeting others where they are at and helping them to experience authentic peace and joy through a deepening personal relationship with God; for this reason, our apostolate of evangelization and spiritual formation really resonates in my heart. 

I have only just begun to live this adventure of religious life, and already the Lord has given me the hundredfold that He promised to the disciples that left everything to follow Him: I can't wait to see what He has in store for me and this community in the years to come!