In the Acts of the Apostles after Easter, we hear the story of the Apostles receiving thousands into the Church; baptizing whole families! I’m always amazed at the power of Christ; the power of the Holy Spirit but I know that the same Holy Spirit works in a powerful way to this very day! I know because I was a recipient of that outpouring of grace.
On April 19, 2003 at the age of 31, I was received [baptized & confirmed] into the Roman Catholic Church. I was one of the many people who came from no religious background (perhaps loosely Christian) but really a “pagan” receiving the gift of faith. And it didn’t stop there. My calling was first and most importantly to become a Christian man, following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ; becoming His disciple. That was hard enough!
I was a bus driver at Mississauga Transit with almost ten years on the job at that point; making good money, I couldn’t have had more job security. I was even convinced that I was called to be married; a husband and father. There were lots of fine Catholic ladies that I wanted to date! Beginning to live as a disciple – my mind couldn’t have been further from priesthood.
But the Lord had other plans. The invitation came from others; first, my RCIA instructors, and then the priests in my parish. I wasn’t open to this idea at first, but when one is committed to prayer and to God’s presence and His signals – it’s hard to close the door too quickly. Later in 2003, I went to a Franciscan Discernment weekend in New York; a Come & See weekend at St. Augustine’s Seminary and remained committed to my involvement in my parish. By September 2005, after many challenges (my mother died in August of 2004) I made the first step of going to Serra House and beginning my formation which lead me through a rewarding yet challenging seven years of formation.
I was ordained a priest on May 12, 2012 at St. Michael’s Cathedral and spent my first year and a half of priesthood as the Associate Pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Markham. I absolutely love being a priest! It’s rewarding, God’s people are well worth it, and I joyfully give my life to ministering to them. I made many life-long friends in the seminary, and find that my life is more amazing than I could have ever imagined. I have learned a great deal, I am doing things now I NEVER would have imagined myself doing – all by the Grace of God!!
I know the Lord of the Harvest called me; and He might be calling you!! If He is – be not afraid!