The Call to Priesthood: A Personal Vocation Story

Last Updated: 31 Mar 2023
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Well, this story is a long one, as are most of my stories, but here it goes… My vocation story is simple; it began with a thought from God that my life was meant for something more. This thought resounded “priesthood” not only in my head, but also in my day-to-day life. Very carefully, through the influence of my parents, through the desire to attend Holy Mass more regularly throughout the week, and through my experiences with the other member of our church especially choir, God Holy Spirit (Mahal na Ingkong) was calling me to the priesthood.

The first boy in a family of eight children, I grew up in a Catholic family that for the most part went to Mass every Sunday. I attended the parochial school at the parish my family went to for grades one to eight. Through the school, I made my first confession when I was in the second grade and received my First Holy Communion in the third grade. Also through the parish school, I began serving at Mass in the fourth grade. During this time I never considered a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. I remember that in the first few years of grade school I felt a sense of awe when I stepped inside a church.

At some point during grade school, that feeling of awe and that the church building was somehow different went away. As time went on, I went to Mass on Sundays and received Communion largely because that is what my family did on Sundays and I went along. After I graduated from the sixth grade, I attended a private high school in the area that was an excellent college preparatory school. During this time I prepared for and received the Sacrament of Confirmation at my family's parish. I was mildly interested in receiving the Sacrament but to some extent, I received it because it was the next step in the life of a Catholic.

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My spiritual life as I graduated high school and prepared to go off to college can be summarized by the word "mechanical". I prayed before meals with my family because that is what we did. I went to Church on Sunday because that is what my family did. I prayed before bed because that is what my mother taught me. None of that would last very long after I went to college and was on my own. During my teenage years my grandmother are hoping that I would become a priest someday. Upon hearing how she mentioned the news to my relative, I was dumbfounded.

I think it was more a reaction to have a loving God in an unloving world, and my thoughts were more along the lines that if I ignored God, maybe He would just go away… After high school, I attended Divine Mercy College and a working student. I attend Sunday on my own for about half of my first quarter as a freshmen and then stopped. When I was home for Christmas, Spring break, and summer, I went to Mass along with my family but did not receive Communion. Towards the end of my sophomore year, my best friend knowing I was Catholic began to ask why Catholics did certain things

My Best friend is not a typical type of religious catholic person. What he knew of the Catholic faith he had learned from so he "knew" Catholics worshiped Mary and the saints and did not read the bible. I had no idea how to answer his questions or statements regarding Catholic beliefs. I was for the large part ignorant of what Catholics believed and why we did things the way we did them, even after six years of ignorance in worshipping influenced by my parents. When praying the rosary for example, I did not know one was supposed to mediate on each of mysteries while reciting the prayers.

My best friend repeated what he had learned about Catholic beliefs and I was clueless and unable to respond. I was motivated by my best friend questions to learn what Catholics believed. I may not have learned much during my years in our home but one assertion in particular made by my best friend drew my attention. It was the statement that Catholics worship statues. I definitely could not explain why that was false but I knew it to be false. I had stood in front of statues and prayed. I had seen other people stand in front of statues praying. I had seen people reverence statues. I never ever thought the statue was being worshiped.

I knew and I think the other people knew the statue was not an object to be worshiped and that worship was only given to God. I found on-line resources like Catholic Answers and catholic. org. Based on what I learned on-line I purchased some books. I began going to Mass at our church. Something was different about Mass now. The priest was the same as before, but now his homilies were somehow better. I began to realize that while it was possible that Father's homilies had gotten better over the past year and half to two years, the problem was really with me: I simply had not been listening before.

I tried to learn as much as I could about the Catholic faith. I also tried to keep going to Mass during the week and praying Morning and Evening Prayer so that those were not just things I did for Lent. I brought a rosary always for protection. During this time when my faith was renewed and I took an active part in fostering my faith and prayer life (around 2009 up to this day). I was an active auxiliary in these past few years most especially in a choir. I dreamed to be a choir of our church until I had many experiences encountered as a member. Until, one day I won the championship for Battle of the Band contest held last 2011.

Lastly, I was appointed to be the chairman of Toka9 auxiliary and there are several great blessed things happened to me last year. Until, the thought of being a priest occurred to me. At times I could see myself as a priest offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. But when I though about it, it seemed like an idea that was not possible and that God would not pick me. I have a speech fluency disorder called stuttering (or stammering). At times, it seemed to me to be severe. As a result, I really did not like public speaking. I pushed off the idea of being a priest as being an impossible dream or fantasy.

Certainly, I took the idea of being a priest seriously and was nervous that God was calling me. I continued going to Mass on Sundays and weekdays when possible, praying Morning and Evening Prayer, and trying to do an hour of personal meditation a night. I began to recognize that God was calling me, but I was comfortable with my life. For, so many things happened to me as an active parishioner I always ask God Holy Spirit (Mahal na Ingkong) Why should I stay? At first I had a hard time recognizing that God was calling me in this manner, but over the years I have come to better understand just how God was laying things out for me.

My inspiration to say “yes” was encouraged by the example of my dream. Since, I managed to be an active member of our church I was in the process of bringing myself closer to God Holy Spirit (Mahal na Ingkong) and because of this I often spoke with him about this secret and it had influenced me to make my decision final. Through his words and even more through his example, I realized that I wanted my life to reflect the same desire to serve God. I continued my frigid relationship with God through college days. And, I considered this is one of the interesting parts of my religious life. This realization started a slow thaw.

Slowly but surely I started becoming more involved in the Church, realizing eventually that God did exist and did care, so perhaps I should return that with more than I had been. Indeed, the more I frequented Holy Mass the more the desire grew within my heart to give up my life because of my sins. One day when the mass was about to start it came out to my mind when I would watch the priest during Holy Mass, especially at the moments of consecration, I longed to be the man at the altar, offering the sacrifice. Honestly, I considered this was a hilarious part of my daydreaming that time.

It’s been said that if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. So, I figured, why consult Him on the matter? But there comes a time my home life was still a mess and there are several sins I made. Someone asked me to enter a Eucharistic adoration if I want to have a conversation from god and to seek help. I started going for the first time to Adoration on a weekly basis. It was during one of this Holy Hours that I could finally ask God the question that had bothered me all though out my on-going conversion: if He loved me so much, why did he want me to enter this new world?

I thought it was okay that He wanted to care for me now, but what about before? Did he understand my mortal sin? I told God that if I was mistaken, and my call was truly to the priesthood, then to please send me some type of dramatic sign to let me know. I am aware that it is a fairly common phenomenon for young people discerning a vocation to the religious life to ask for this, but it is not a healthy or appropriate request, since God does not generally work that way. One of the great signs I received is that when I went into the mission to Bohol, our grace asked me to pursue my dreams but I should enter the religious vocation.

Secondarily, in the middle of the month after the mission my father also asked me if I want to study theology this coming school classes. Eventually, I seek for the last and other signs for I have the so-called proof of entering priesthood. But Unfortunately, I was really in crisis at this point, but I still hadn’t received three or more of the dramatic signs I wanted from God in order to show me that I was called to the priesthood rather than the normal single life.

During these Holy Hours, I would ask this question again and again, until, finally, one night I opted to listen for His response (a good idea – listening at prayer! . I had heard that God suffers with His children, but, that night, I heard those words as though Christ Himself had spoken them to me: “Where was I? I was crying and suffering with you! ” Gradually, from the inspiration of these experiences and from time in prayer I decided to answer “yes” to God’s desire. However, after making the decision I was afraid to mention anything to anyone for a good two weeks. Finally, after holding this decision within myself for so long (at least it seemed long to me), I decided that I should tell someone.

So, I went to one of my friends, Hijas De Maria Lenny Enrica, and I talked things out with her. She, however, was not surprised by my news, which in turn left me surprised. You see, HDM Lenny was one of my co-choir member in our church and as part of her job she is also an auxiliary officer of the Diocese Region 13 Queen Of Angels and a very supportive friend of mine and I clearly explained and mentioned to her my desire to join the priesthood.

Needless to say, I took this conversation as an affirmation from God that I was following the right path. Interestingly enough, HDM Lenny once again layed an important role in helping me pusue my vocation. During our time in a Choir meeting I informed her again that I desired to enter the order. I can only explain this as God’s Providence.

She knew where I belonged, only I had to figure it out as well. I’m actually judgmental within myself I grew incredibly in my terrible past life and because of a combination of temptation and of my own weakness, I was not awakened in this horrible dream of my life. I thought that God probably existed, but He didn’t care one way or another about what I was doing in my life.

I really owe this acceptance (as little as it seemed) to my auxiliary friends, to whom God seemed very real and very near. I realized that although the decision to become a priest would entail great sacrifice, that didn’t mean that it was not a sacrifice I was called to make. Still, it really hurt when I thought about the idea of never claiming my body’s needs and necessities. In many ways, all the joys of my vocation were hidden to me, and all I could focus on were the beautiful things that I would be giving up.

I was really concerned that I wouldn’t have the courage to start or the resolve to follow through with my calling. But it hit me one day that no one is strong enough or worthy enough to be a priest—that grace can only come from God. And so I said, “Okay, God, I believe that you want me to be a priest, and I accept—I will do it. I know you know how much this hurts, and that my sacrifice is that much more meaningful to you because you know. ” Still, I asked God for help with two things. First, I said, “I am so weak—far too weak to do this on my own.

I agreed to your mysterious plan for me, but I don’t have the strength to carry it out, so all the rest has to come from you—I am leaning on you completely and entirely. ” And I remember having this amazing sense of peace, knowing that God would always make me equal to the tasks to which he was calling me as long as I could bring myself to ask. It was thrilling to realize that I wasn’t expected to—indeed couldn’t—have the strength or perseverance to do what God was asking, it was only for me to agree to do it, and then to pray!

The second thing I asked for was peace of mind—I said, “God, I believe I am called to the priesthood, but I don’t want to be a miserable priest; a martyr in my own eyes—I want to be joyful! For the next 30 days, I will make sure to spend twenty or thirty minutes each day after Mass praying in your Presence. If, as I believe, you are truly calling me to the priesthood, please help me to feel at peace with my decision to enter the seminary by the end of that time.

By the end of that period I was so convinced of my calling that I could laugh about the difficulties I had had a month earlier! I have learned that it doesn’t need any dramatic signs to consider or to pursue your vocation. There are simple things to consider the reason of your call. Primarily, your openness to your calling, then your understanding of your calling, then the acceptance of your calling, then you must embrace your calling, lastly, your love to your calling.

I believed these can be enough reason for you to enter priesthood. And, I considered this simple appreciation would be the best sign but is a great call given to me by God Holy Spirit (Mahal na Ingkong). Just to wrap up: There’s a lot of discussion about how much our Church needs priests and religious, and I think we can all see that. But it’s a mistake to talk about a “vocations crisis”—because that implies that there aren’t enough vocations to the priesthood.

But Christ told us that he would never leave his Church without shepherds, and so he is definitely still calling many, many young men to the priesthood, and he calls many, many young women to the religious life. The crisis is not in the number of men and women who God calls, the crisis is in the tiny percentage of those young men and women who actually respond to that call. That’s the crisis. I thank Our Blessed Mother Mary and St. Maria Virginia for her guidance throughout this process, which I like to call the “Origin of my vocation”.

She has blessed me with so many graces that have aided me in finding the path that God Holy Spirit (Mahal Na Ingkong) has laid out for me within the religious section of my adolescence age and more importantly, within the priesthood of Christ, her Son. Although I may not recognize her heavenly assistance, I am most grateful that she has carried me here so that I may fulfill God’s purpose for giving me life. I thank God for His countless blessings and patience with my stubbornness and desire to fulfill my will. I thank God in particular for leading me to discover His call.

Related Questions

on The Call to Priesthood: A Personal Vocation Story

What is my vocation?
Your vocation is the work or career that you feel called to pursue. It is the type of work that you feel passionate about and that you believe will bring you the most fulfillment. It is important to take the time to reflect on what your vocation is and to make sure that you are pursuing it with intention.
What is an example of a vocation?
A vocation is a type of career or profession that someone is called to pursue. An example of a vocation could be a priest, a nurse, or a teacher. These professions are often seen as a calling, rather than just a job.
What it means to have a vocation?
Having a vocation means having a strong feeling of being called to a particular job or profession. It is a feeling of purpose and passion for a certain type of work, and it often involves a sense of mission or service to others.
Can I choose my vocation?
Yes, you can choose your vocation. It is important to take the time to research different career paths and find one that aligns with your interests, skills, and values. It is also important to consider the job market and the potential for growth in the field you are considering.

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The Call to Priesthood: A Personal Vocation Story. (2017, Feb 17). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/my-vocation/

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