Introduction: Harrison

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Well here I go. I got an e-mail from Moneybags and now here I am, giving you all a brief introduction to where I'm at and how I got here.

Well, I was baptised as a baby as per most babies. I was actually baptised into the Catholic Church, but that was more or less the extent of my faith as a child. My mom attempted to get me to Catechism classes but it never worked out because of my mother's constant sickness. I went with my grandparent's to Mass once in a while, but never did or believed anything really. In essence, I had no faith.

Then came grade 12 and the approaching of graduating from High School. I applied to 2 schools. The University of Northern British Columbia as a back up if I didn't get accepted to the first school I applied to, the University of Victoria (Canada's second best University). Thanks to the grace of God, I got accepted to the University of Victoria, even though I had never been to Victoria and lived just a ferry ride away. It soon came to be the beginning of August, and still hadn't began looking for a place to live. My grandma had called me, though. She saw an add in her Church bulletin, in which a priest who had just moved to Victoria to take up his new post at his new Parish about rooms for rent in his house. So we called him up and went over to meet him. I was a bit hesitant to be honest, but he ensured that he would not force religion on me or anything. So I decided to move in. It was really close to the University (right across the street in fact!) and it was a good deal. So I moved in. In my first year of University, I just lived there without any practice of any faith. It was the cause of conflict at times, but I didn't realize why until later.

Then came the summer, and I had decided to stay in Victoria for the summer and study over the summer (which really ended up being going to class once in a while and just hanging out with friends and doing lots of dancing, because I was heavily involved in swing dancing). We went to the movies, the priest, myself, and some seminarians, and it came up about confirmation and all that jazz and they came to find out that I was never confirmed or received first communion and that I never practiced my faith at all, because it was never "my" faith in the first place! So, Fr. John gave me a sheet to fill out and I decided to enter RCIA the next year, though, to be honest, it was more of a "going through the motions". So, I went through the motions and entered the Church at Easter in 2003. I moved home that summer too and worked for the summer. After entering the Church, I still didn't practice my faith much at all, I hadn't really encountered Christ.

I was even contemplating taking a year off of school. But the end of the summer was coming, and my job was not what I thought it would be, and decided to give Philosophy a shot (this would be the 3rd program I would be trying out) because I enjoyed philosophy in my first year of University. Well, I began in Philosophy, and then came January 2004. I was back in Victoria before hand, still not going to Church much. But I was sitting in my room one night in early January. I felt this sudden need to pray, this sudden need really talk with God. It took me over entirely. It's an experience that can't be properly be expressed by words. After the intense prayer, the first thing I did was e-mailed the priest who took me in when I moved in and I asked him if I would be able to enter RCIA again so that I could actually learn about the faith. He agreed. I finally went for my first confession (was too afraid before and didn't really understand anything beforehand about it unfortunately and I regret that), and God has been with me ever since. Shortly after my experience I felt a strong call to the priesthood.

Well, that was going up and down. I flipped flopped all over the place with regards to vocation. Then I went to Europe this past summer for 2 months with a friend for World Youth Day. It was a great experience. On that trip God was really speaking to my heart, digging out who I'm called to be and revealing it to me from the depths of my heart. It put me really on fire to pursue the priesthood. I e-mailed my spiritual director (the same priest who I had moved in with 5 years ago and had taken me under his wing and has supported me ever since) and told him and he concured that my vocation is probably to the priesthood and that he was glad to see me listening to God instead of myself. So, ever since then, I've been focusing on that vocation.

Now, it is not to say that there aren't tough times. One has to wrestle with God about their vocation. This is always a life long decision and there will ALWAYS be the ups and downs in making that choice. What it comes down to is trusting in God and letting Him guide you along the way.

Recently I just graduated from the University of Victoria with my BA in Philosophy and will have my convocation on June 7th. I am now working at St Andrew's Cathedral as the Administrative Assistant in the Office there, working for the next 3 years to pay off my student loans so that I may enter the seminary. Come the end of those 3 years, if God wills it, I will be entering the Seminary, though, I have a strong inclination that that is where He is leading me, all the right doors have opened at the right time and have pushed me continually in that direction.

I would really appreciate your prayers.

Thanks and God bless!

-Harrison

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