Hello, my name is Luke Daniel. It is my pleasure and honor to introduce myself to the Juneau Diocese of Alaska I am 20 years old and currently live in the Archdiocese of Seattle. Born in Sitka, I was baptized and brought into the Church as a member of Saint Gregory Nazianzen Parish. Currently, I am completing an Associates of Arts degree at Olympic College. I will enter Mount Angel Seminary as a second year (sophomore) college seminarian this August, sponsored by the Diocese of Juneau.
My family and I moved to Washington when I was four years old and we have resided there ever since. Before sensing a call to the priesthood, I majored in fine arts and I was going to be a teacher of classical and baroque art.
Following school, I landed a tug boat job in Juneau. It was during this period away from family and friends that I had much time for deep reflection and discernment about my calling in life. Although I wasn’t sure at the time about my true calling, I knew God would be at the center of my life’s path. On the weekends, I would go hiking and bike riding, but on Sundays I would spend my time at Church, where I met Bishop Burns.
Over time, he and I became good friends and he was the first person to suggest that I should consider the priesthood. Honestly, I took it as a joke and let it be, but long after I had returned home, the seeds of curiosity which God planted through Bishop Burns took root. I began a process of gentle discernment, saying a simple prayer every night: “Lord, You are the potter and I am the clay, make of me what You will.” I didn’t get any instant consolation or response, so I really took more initiative to discover my actual vocation in life. I began meeting with priests of both diocesan and religious background, and attended discernment retreats frequently. After reading the book To Save a Thousand Souls, I began deepening my prayer life through greater attendance at Holy Mass, frequent confession, meeting with my spiritual director, a daily Rosary, and greater involvement in parish life through youth programs, charity work, holy hours, and youth catechesis.
I find great consolation in frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament, praying the Rosary and doing Lectio Divina with the Word of God. I hope to serve God to the fullest as a priest in the Diocese of Juneau in every capacity I can.