Saturday, April 12, 2008

Vocations Sunday

Good Shepherd Sunday (the 4th of Easter) is always designated as the world day of prayer for vocations. It seems like a good opportunity to post about one of our alumni who is discerning God’s call to him.

Paul Reilly was resident at Newman House in 2003-4, and began his discernment with the White Fathers in January 2007. Known for a wry – nay, wicked – sense of humour and self-effacing modesty he endured with good grace the teasing that is to be expected about being an American abroad!

Things are going well here with the White Fathers. I'm currently in Guadalajara, Mexico and just about to complete my first full year of philosophy. The fathers in the US sent me to Mexico because that's where the majority of the vocations are for the White Fathers in the North American province. That meant that, starting last summer, I had to brush up on my Spanish in order to get it to the state whereby I could enrol in philosophy classes here. It's been quite an interesting ride, but I've enjoyed it. I've done surprising well in my courses and have had some wonderful pastoral experiences, especially during this past Holy Week when we were sent out to some small poor villages to help the understaffed local clergy with their responsibilities.

At first I was quite sceptical of coming to Mexico for the first part of my formation as I obviously feel called to a vocation serving the Church in Africa, but, just as I have in every location I have had the privilege to call home over the past few years, I have been blessed by God to see his presence in all with whom I have come in contact. I'll be heading home in May for 3 weeks holiday before heading off to Quebec City, Canada for a 6-week course in French, which will help me get ready for the novitiate in Burkina Faso (which will be in French), where, if God so chooses, I'll go in September 2009. So, one more year of philosophy and then the real fun Africa!

Please remember Paul in your prayers, and all of our alumni who are in formation.

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