I was born in Panama, famous for its Canal, to an Irish father and a Panamanian mother. They had met in the British Virgin Islands, which is where I subsequently spent my childhood. Though I grew-up in paradise amidst a loving family, I carried a great sadness with me. I had walked away from the way of life offered by the Faith and was looking for the wholeness that only God could give.
Later I moved back to Panama and found hope that my emptiness could be filled through healthier living, greater generosity with friends, and offering some talent to the world. Once in law school, I felt greatly accomplished in all these areas. This wave of accomplishment and satisfaction came to a crescendo when I was in Singapore as part of a team representing my law school in a debate. In a moment of silence, however, I discovered something crushing: for all my self-satisfaction in my accomplishments I was still just as empty as I was before. What could fill this emptiness? Was there any purpose to my existence if all accomplishments and satisfaction were transient?
During that week I was drawn to a Church, before which I stood in my confusion and anxiety. There God grabbed me and told me that He, the living God, loved me and I believed Him and knew then what I had wanted to know all along: that I was lovable. Eventually I found myself living in Boston, having been accepted to the Master’s program at Harvard Law School. In Boston, surrounded by Catholic friends and making more time for prayer, I was able to see the beauty and nobility of a life of spiritual service as a priest and entered the Seminary.
After two years of study I recognized how much I loved living with brothers and a life committed to study – an important manner of serving the Church. This helped me discern the living-out of my priestly calling as a Dominican. This call has brought me to Dublin and though I have had to leave some things behind, I have had no regrets. For God cannot be outdone in generosity.