David Villafana reflects on his experience thus far in the Aspirancy programme.
From vague ideas of pursuing business, to becoming a filmmaker, to taking up a vocation to the priesthood? I know — it’s like a big bang theory once you’ve wrapped your mind around it but somehow it made sense to me. This is my story.
Growing up in Santa Cruz, I loved church (courtesy my grandmother and yes, she is still alive and kicking), but that slowly changed when I became a teenager and peer pressure kicked in.
I grew wayward and just went through life as sand through the hourglass. I did this with no ambition and no awareness of my surroundings. Then at 15, I had a dream. A figure who appeared to be St Michael the Archangel showed me two sides of my adult life, one in which I had accepted God, the other, rejection of God.
It piqued my interest for a while but like any young person, I moved on to loving the ‘gifts’ of the world. My love for technology, and now learning graphics, made me become more introverted than I already was. My passion for God was slowly vanishing and not accepting God’s path shaped my reality.
Then came the plot twist. As my career and education were finally being moulded, God came knocking in the form of two spiritual directors—Frs Garfield Rochard and David Khan. They dedicated their time to form me into my call, as well as facilitating exploration of my talents.
From this, a small media team was formed which I was nominated to head. The ride was fun while it lasted until my time had arrived to take up my cross and follow Him. May 12, 2018, my mind was set. Forward march.
I entered the Pre-Seminary of St Kizito, St Joseph with seven men and one priest whom I had only met two months’ prior. This was the ultimate test of my bravery.
My aspirancy life was a time of discovery. Can I manage living on my own? Can I live with seven other strangers and see them like Christ in my low moments? So many questions yet they seemed rhetorical as I developed new bonds and an understanding of different lifestyles that challenged me.
For that month of May, Fr Matthew d’Hereaux’s words “stay the course” rooted in me like Mary when the Angel Gabriel presented her with her very first vocation.
Community can really form you but can break you at the same time. This should not necessarily be considered a bad thing. I had to drop the familiar and adjust to the uncomfortable.
Trust me, community is no heaven on earth! We all have, in some way or the other, encountered difficult moments in our families, but those moments made us stronger and wiser human beings today.
Being an aspirant allowed me to see that not all walks of life are equal and being open to God exposes you to a deeper walk into humility.
Currently I am a pre-seminarian. So far so good. We pray together. We cook together and we even recreate together. However, this journey as long as it may be, seems to be flying by. It is the memories that count, even if it is with my camera.
We all have, in some way or the other, encountered difficult moments in our families, but those moments made us stronger and wiser human beings today.