NickStPetersSmallBro. Nick Porter, OSA, 27, is a Southern California native who grew up in the Los Angeles area. After graduating from the University of California, San Diego he began a job as a software engineer. He enjoyed the creativity, the mathematics and the logic in programming that the work entailed. Yet it was not enough. Shortly after graduation, while he was still new in his job, Nick began discerning his vocation to the religious life, a four-year process that culminated in entering the Augustinian pre-novitiate program at the St. Rita House in September of 2010. In the fall of 2011 he began his Novitiate year in Racine, WI.

Looking back, Nick says he can now recognize a tug toward a vocation earlier in his life. Starting in 2006, he became more attentive and receptive toward the possibility. “For the most part, I progressed internally by prayer and reflection,” he recalls. “Externally, I read whatever I could get my hands on about the priesthood; visiting different places to learn of the different ways of life moving toward priesthood— diocesan, monastic and so on; and helped with a number of catechetical, charitable, and liturgical ministries at my parish.” He attended an Augustinian vocation discernment weekend in San Diego and then a second, nine months later. He began interacting with the Augustinians occasionally, going to an Augustinian monastery for prayer and dinner, visiting the orphanage in Tijuana, and Augustinian parishes and ministries in California.

“Over time, I began to think that a religious life in the fraternal model would suit me better than monastic life or the secular priesthood, although I was far from certain about that at the time. The Augustinians I met all seemed to think I had a vocation, and this made the idea less fantastic, less a distant hope. I began to think I could actually do it.”

While the St. Rita House in San Francisco he studied philosophy at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology. During the year he also served on the R. C. I. A. team at St. Ignatius Church, a ministry he had previously done at the Newman Center in La Jolla. During 1212-1213 Nick studied theology and Latin in Chicago. He is currently studying Italian and graduate level theology at St. Monica’s in Rome.

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