For the benefit of our new readers, this is taken mostly from my 1st post from last year that gave a little introduction about myself. I’ve updated it some.
When did you get to Waco and how do you like it here? I moved to Waco at the beginning of July 2013. I’ve enjoyed Waco a lot. It’s a sizable city but not too big or busy. The traffic isn’t too bad.
Where were you before you got here and what were you doing there? I’ve been at St. Peter for just over a year now. I was in Austin four years before that. The last two years I was assigned to St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School where I taught theology and was the campus minister. Before that, I was at St. Mary Cathedral as the parochial vicar.
How long have you been a priest and what order do you belong to? Five years. I was ordained in 2008 by Bishop Gregory Aymond. I do not belong to any religious order. I am a diocesan priest of the Diocese of Austin, which St. Peter is a part of.
Where you do live? I live in the rectory (the priests’ house) at St. Louis parish here in Waco. It’s about 5 miles away from St. Peter.
Where are you from originally? Were you born in the US? I was born and raised in Mississippi. I am of Chinese descent.
What family do you have? I do not have any family in Texas. As for my immediate family, my mom lives in Atlanta. My dad passed away when I was younger. I have two brothers, one younger (who lives with my mom) and one older (who lives in NYC).
How did you get to Texas? I came to Texas to attend Rice University in Houston and have been here ever since.
How did you get to Austin and join the Diocese of Austin? After graduating, I worked in Austin for a couple of years. It was during this time that I discerned a call to the priesthood and decided to join the Diocese of Austin.
How did you decide to become a priest? Short version: It was through discerning that my greatest joy would come through serving as a priest.
Do people ever mistake you for a college student? Yes, I’m older than I look, though I don’t mind that at all.
Do you get to have fun? Yes, I try to have fun. I like to watch TV, read, talk to friends, follow the weather, play guitar and play computer games.
What are your favorite foods? Chicken fried steak, hamburgers, chips and dip.
What are your favorite ice cream flavors? Mint CC, Cookies & Cream, Birthday Cake (seasonal from Blue Bell)
How come you are so thin? It’s in my genes. My mom still asks me all the time if I’m eating enough and I’m pretty sure I am.
What are the hardest things for you about being a priest? Fearing rejection or failure, feeling responsible for everyone.
What are your favorite things about being a priest? Celebrating liturgy that allows people to encounter God, teaching, being an instrument of God’s mercy, bringing hope to people’s lives, being an instrument of unity.
How have you liked St. Peter so far? After being here one year, I still feel very blessed and joyful being here. I am inspired by the enthusiasm for the faith of so many students. It inspires me to want to be a better priest. The students’ hunger for learning more has energized me to continue studying and learning more about the faith. Their willingness to serve others and seek depth in their lives fills me with great hope for the Church. I look forward to another great year together.
How long do you plan on being here? That’s really not up to me. Though I hope I’m not leaving anytime soon, I do not have a set term here. It’s up to the Bishop to assign me according to the needs of the church of this diocese.