Fr. Samuel Hakeem, OP, was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Chasing aspirations of someday being an astronaut, he attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Space Physics. While he can point to moments during his college years that thoughts of the priesthood came to mind, he didn't begin actively discerning a vocation to religious life until his senior year of college. After graduating from Embry-Riddle, Fr. Samuel returned to Albuquerque where he began graduate studies in Optical Science and Engineering at the University of New Mexico. It was at UNM that Fr. Samuel first met the Dominicans, who ran the Aquinas Newman Center at the time. He would join the friars for Vespers and dinner and would regularly attend daily Mass at the center. As he learned about the Order, its communal way of life, its commitment to the intellectual tradition, and its mission of preaching for the salvation of souls, he felt the desire to discern more deeply. After a few visits to other houses of the province, he applied to the order. He left graduate school to begin the novitiate in 2010 and made his first profession a year later. He was ordained to the Priesthood in 2017 and spent the first three years of his priesthood at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison, WI.
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