Deacon Kurt Zion from the Philippines wrote the following reflection in the days leading up to his ordination as a deacon. He was ordained deacon on March 15, 2015.
A mong the mysteries in life for me is God’s call for me to be one of His priests. It is something I struggle with because who am I to be called by Him? It is also a gift I am very grateful for, because it has allowed me to participate in the faith and life journey of persons in ways I could never have done if I did not join the Columbans. My life has truly been enriched by these encounters hoping I too have enriched theirs in some ways.
When I first thought of becoming a priest, I was just a small boy around the age of ten. I was then an altar server. Now more than 20 years later, I am preparing for my ordination to the diaconate, the final step to becoming a priest. For us, it is a long engagement, a total of 10 years which includes studies in philosophy and theology, a year of spiritual discernment and a stint in a mission outside the Philippines, in my case the beautiful happy islands of Fiji.
If you ask me why, why do I want to become a priest, a Columban missionary priest, I only have one answer – deep in my heart is this overwhelming joy and gratefulness I have for God for loving and accepting me for who I am. It is out of this gratitude that I also want to share this joy with others as a missionary priest in far distant islands like Fiji. I do think this is crazy. It is a life of uncertainty in worldly and human terms, but certainly it has been a life of joy for me. I guess I am crazy, a fool.
If not for my family, friends, and the Columban community I wouldn’t have made it this far. If not for God’s dream in me, I wouldn’t be here. I am grateful to my family for allowing me and supporting me to pursue this dream. I have not always been the perfect son or perfect brother, but I will be there for them and love them. I am especially grateful to my father who I only got to know and understand more in the last few years of his life until he died in a work-related accident. He taught me to always do what makes me happy and pursue my dreams. He never complained and took his responsibility as a father seriously.
As I prepare in the coming days for my ordination to the diaconate, please whisper a prayer for me. I will be keeping you in my prayers, too. I will soon leave the four walls of the Columban House of Studies in Manila. Thank you, too, the seminary formation staff and brothers for bringing out the best of me all through these years. I will forever be a student in my life.
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