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November 4, 2020
Message from Pope Francis for World Day of Vocations 2020
November 4, 2020

Giving God a chance

By Jameke Brown, aspirant

After experiencing the power of God through the Holy Spirit in 2010, I always felt a call to serve Him in a powerful way.

I started serving in various ministries in the church such as music ministry, Confirmation classes, and attending prayer meetings but there was always a passion burning deeper to share the truth of the person of Jesus Christ.

The first time I considered the idea of the priesthood was when I attended a Generation S’ discernment retreat in 2016. I thought to myself “I wonder if this could be for me?” I felt a very small seed planted that day.

Soon after though, many fears came, financial sacrifice, a lack of companionship and the fact that I was in a relationship at the time did not help. I ignored it for some time and continued living and serving but every now and then the spark would be ignited again. A call to more, a call to a deeper service, a deeper love and a call to respond to what God may ‘possibly’ be calling me to.

I started feeling like I was not giving God a chance. Even though I was worshipping, serving, preaching, and enjoying ministry in different ways, I felt like I was not giving Him the opportunity to move fully in me.

I got in touch with Fr Matthew d’Hereaux, the Director of Vocations and explained how I had been feeling. He advised that I consider entering the Aspirancy/Pre-Seminary programme to help with my discernment.

He explained that discernment needed the right environment to grow and that many times it is difficult to do that with the noise of the world. I listened and considered it further.

After much prayer, I remember one Sunday at Mass the gospel reading was on the pearl of great treasure and Fr Roger Paponette preached very clearly on selling everything once they found that pearl. I felt the words pierce my spirit. I needed to find the pearl of great treasure. I needed to give God a chance.

I called back Fr Matthew two weeks before the start of the Aspirancy programme and asked him if it was possible to still enter and he obliged most willingly.

It has now been three months into the programme and I can honestly say the decision has been exactly what I needed. Though it may be too early to pronounce the conclusion of this journey, I know that it is where God needs me to be right now and I am definitely at peace taking the journey day by day.

The routine of life at the house has definitely allowed for a greater intimacy with Christ which was much needed for me. Either way, discernment is a win/win: whether the call upon your life is marriage, priesthood or single life, active discernment helps you to be a better man of God which is the call upon all of our lives.

I recommend any young man who is serious about his relationship with Christ to consider the path that God may be calling him to. Don’t just casually stroll through the routine of life. You have a specific purpose, and it is your responsibility to find that out. Don’t let the thought of the possibility of priesthood be an ominous one. Who He calls, He equips and sustains. God calls ordinary men, and you may be one. Be blessed.

The role of the Aspirancy House, located in the parish of St Joseph, St Joseph, is to provide an atmosphere conducive to discernment. Although structured around prayer, daily Mass, and human and spiritual formation, the aspirants are not pressured to become priests but encouraged to be open to what God may be asking of them.

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