Hola familia de Cristo! (Hello family of Christ!) I pray this bulletin article finds you well, and if it doesn’t, hang tight, the Lord is always right on time with His healing love! Friends, there are times we all grow weary, frustrated, anxious, sad, tired and essentially just sort of down and out. I playfully said above that the Lord is always right on time with His healing love, and really, it’s true. It’s tough waiting for it to come through sometimes thoughJ
During a recent evangelization adventure at a pie shop, I met this dear woman who rejoiced as we talked about Jesus. I asked her, “what’s something you love about the Lord?” She said those beautiful words, “He’s always on time.” What she said has really stuck with me and I wanted to pass it on to you. Here’s a great scripture to go with it as well: “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word.”(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
And now friends, the final installment of my conversion story, thanks for allowing me to share it! So I had come to the point, by God’s grace, where I was sure Jesus had to be the center of my life, which was huge for me! The Lord had brought me from alcohol addiction and a life of sin that accompanied it to truly desiring to live in His love and by His Word and His way. He showed me His way was so much better and joyful than mine, it was life giving. Well upon the recommendation of my Mom, I checked out a discernment weekend at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.
On that weekend, I had the opportunity to see what life in the seminary was like. I went to several great talks on the priesthood and the journey to it. I asked the tough questions I needed to ask (I had a few of them!) about the life of the priesthood and my concerns. Again and again that weekend, God kept winning my heart. On my third night at the seminary I knew I was SOLD. I knew I wanted to enter the seminary…but…I needed God to tell me to. In my heart I just knew, “this is what I want, but I need God to tell me, I need God’s green light.” So I stayed up that night praying and asked God very specifically to please let me know in a dream if I should enter the seminary and pursue becoming a priest.
That night I did have a dream. In it, I was vested as a priest and standing behind an altar with the candles lit (as happens at the liturgy of the Eucharist). As soon as I was completely aware of what was going on…BAM…I woke up WIDE AWAKE. It was like God threw a bucket of ice water on me and didn’t want me to miss what just happened! I looked at the alarm clock and it was exactly 4:00 AM. I immediately said thank you to God, for he had truly answered my prayer. From that point on, I was in, praise you Jesus!
The vocation director from the Archdiocese of Detroit, Fr. Jim Bilot, began to walk me through the application process and counsel me with great wisdom. His mentorship was priceless. He truly helped me to get into the seminary, seeing beyond my checkered past and into the present moment where God was working powerfully. There’s no words to describe the gratitude and joy I have in the priesthood. I hope to serve you well, for in doing so, I’ll be serving Jesus well. I owe him everything, everything. Each breath is a gift, life is a gift, salvation is a gift and gratitude is the response needed always. Thank you for letting me share my vocation story with you, please know of my love and prayers for you always! God bless you, have a great week!….