Home City: Norwalk
Home Parish: Basilica of St. John the Evangelist
I first felt the call to the priesthood when I was 9 years old, right before my First Holy Communion. It was at a Good Friday service in the Cathedral of Port-au-Prince Haiti. As I sat in church waiting for the service to commence, I began to think about the film The Passion of the Christ which I had seen the night before, and pondered: "How can I help Jesus from having to suffer like this every Good Friday or at least alleviate His sufferings?" Little did I know that the seed for the call was being planted in my heart at that very moment. After coming to America in 1997, my family joined the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist in Stamford. It was there that I began to learn more about the faith. Eventually, I worked there as a Data Register for sacramental records and assisted with the daily tasks of the parish office. I later became a Registered Nurse and worked on the Medicine-Stroke floor of a hospital serving a variety of patients in need of care.
Our Lord is truly patient. My discernment was a process that the Lord slowly revealed in my heart. I realized that I had to go back to the beginning, when I first met Him in that Cathedral on Good Friday. I knew I wanted to serve God's people in some way, so working in the hospital and being with people during their hardest times seemed like a great way to achieve this - but it wasn't enough. I still felt something missing, and that there was more to life as I encountered many cases in my nursing career that really caused me to reflect. While I served Mass at St. John's I felt so close to Christ and many times wondered, "Could the Lord possibly be calling me to the priesthood?"
In medicine, there is care for the body, and it has a therapeutic effect on some of those patients. As for the soul, there is only one doctor who can truly care for it and heal it - He is Jesus Christ, Our Lord. In my discernment, I realized that Christ was raising the bar and standard for my own life. He not only wanted me to be His hands and feet in order to touch and heal His people, but to be the divine author of my life and to allow Him to take control, and to shape me into the servant and shepherd for His kingdom on earth.
Seminary is the place to come and spend time with God in prayer, and with the Church evaluating the workings of God in the souls of men who wish to give their lives to Christ in totality for His glory. I am glad for having said yes to the call. Lord willing, I look forward to being an instrument of His work for the salvation of souls as a priest.