Eric Washkewicz, C.S.C.

Temporarily Professed Seminarian


Hometown: West Orange, New Jersey

Year in Formation: Temporarily Professed – 1st Year in Vows

College: United States Naval Academy, 2013; University of Cambridge

College Major: Mechanical Engineering (B.S), Ocean Engineering (B.S.), Energy Technologies (MPhil)

Graduate School: Cambridge University, 2014

Graduate Degree: MPhil

Previous Jobs: U.S. Navy Submarine Officer

Patron Saint: St. Michael

Favorite Movie: Black Hawk Down, Down Periscope, The Mummy

Favorite Books: Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman, The Body Keeps the Score by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Energy: A Human History by Richard Rhodes

Favorite Music: Demon Hunter, Volbeat, We Came as Romans, Nothing More

Hobbies: Cycling, backpacking, rowing, rock climbing, board games

Place of Pilgrimage you Most Want to Visit and why: Jerusalem. Specifically, I would like to walk the actual stations of the crowd and to see where Jesus was physically present on earth.

Favorite Way to Pray: Daily examen

Favorite Devotion: The Chaplet of Our Lady of Sorrows

What drew you to Holy Cross? I always had the idea of seminary as a “second option” — as in, “if the Navy doesn’t work, maybe I will consider priesthood.” I eventually decided that it was necessary to intellectually discern religious life because I knew I was going to leave the Navy, and my faith was integral to my life. I reached out to my friends who were priests, including Fr. Kevin Grove, C.S.C., and the life of a Holy Cross religious as explained by Fr. Kevin (community, education, and ministry) gave me hope that Holy Cross was a place where I could belong.

Your Vocation Story: Here is a snapshot of a conversation I had with a sailor who was struggling. I was the officer of the deck on the mid watch, and during routine operations, I counseled a sailor for an hour. Afterwards, he asked, “Sir, why did you speak with me? I don’t work for you, and I’m taking your time. How did I earn your attention?” I replied, “You didn’t earn it. You deserve it because you exist, and you matter simply because you exist.” I knew my answer came from my Catholic faith, and this sailor never heard that message. This was when I seriously considered leaving the submarine service for a more important mission: sharing the Gospel and the hope of the Cross.

Favorite Verse: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor death, nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

Favorite Quote: “Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.” – St. Thomas More

How can visitors to this page pray for you? I always found the serenity prayer to be difficult because I told myself, “If I stop what I’m doing and fully commit, I can, and am obligated to change anything.” So, I developed a slight variation: “God, grant me the serenity to leave alone that which I am not responsible for, the discipline to tend to what I am responsible for, and the wisdom to know the difference.”