October 2001. Our librarian went to our classroom and asked who would like to take a test to know if they can go to a seminary. Since I love ad hoc tests and I know it wouldn’t affect my grades, I raised my hand.
The exam involved cognitive, mathematical and abstract reasoning tests, which are the requirements needed to become a priest. I passed the test. Did I just take it because I want to test my ability? Definitely not. When our librarian asked the question, my mind focused on the word “seminary”. During my four years in high school, I became religious and somehow closer to God. I’d always go inside the church first to attend mass or pray before going to school. I also started reading the daily scriptures being read during the mass. Whenever we have prayer meetings, I’d always try to share my thoughts as if I’m delivering a homily. All of these made me happy. Happiness that’s different than anything I’ve felt before. A feeling of warmth and lightness coupled with a clear mind and vision. Thus, I thought and felt that somehow priesthood was my calling.
After the test, the passers were invited to a search-in workshop a few days later. During the workshop, we were given another set of tests. It only focused on abstract reasoning. An interview with a priest followed. The big question was thrown. “Do you want to go to our seminary and take up priesthood?” My answer was a no. I said that I wanted to take up a four-year course first and then I’ll decide if I’ll pursue priesthood. Of course with that answer I wasn’t invited anymore to the succeeding activities towards the entry to the seminary.
I thought I knew that I wanted it but I realized I wasn’t a 100% sure about it. It was a coincidence that the congregation, OMI (Oblates of Mary Immaculate) was related to the church celebration that my birthday fell on. That also added a reason why I thought it was for me. I didn’t regret that decision because I believe that God was guiding me at the moment I made that decision.
Looking at the pictures of my wife and kids made me realize that God indeed had something in store for me. =)