Maryknoll Vocation Ministries is a service to the Maryknoll Society.
This blog aims to keep Maryknoll Formation Candidates and
Vocation Prospects abreast of discernment and Church issues.

September 12, 2011

I feel a Passion for Mission

Sem. Angel Oswaldo Garcia, M.M.
My name is Angel Oswaldo Garcia, I am originally from El Salvador, Central America but I have been living in California where I have relatives. I came to the United States nine years ago. After a few years in California, I moved to Chicago. By the way, Chicago is a great city which has offered me great experiences, especially the beautiful scenes of Lake Michigan, the art institute of Chicago, and Calvert House which is a Catholic ministry at the University of Chicago.

I am currently a Maryknoll seminarian in Chicago, Illinois where the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers have the Initial Formation House. I am studying philosophy at Loyola University and attending St. Joseph College Seminary, a minor diocesan seminary which is part of the archdioceses of Chicago. I have just started my third year at the seminary, which has offered me different challenges and opportunities in ministry, community, formation, and spirituality.  I also actively participate in a Youth Ministry Program at St. Procopius Parish in Pilsen, Chicago.  During my free time, I like to take pictures and I like to write about the different aspects of my reality such as: religion, nature, social Justice, faith, dialogue, etc. Sometimes, I like to sing.

If somebody asks me about the religious or seminary life, I like to tell them that it is not easy because you may find a lot circumstances that you may not like.  The transition between home and seminary may be hard, but I think God chose me and chooses us.  He directs us to choose the right way and to choose service to the right people. God will help us in our sorrows.  We will enjoy his company along with others who are looking to serve God in a deeply religious life style.  I did not choose religious life as a career.

I decided to enter religious life ever since I felt the call since I was eight years old.  For some reason though, I postponed that call until I was in college.  After searching different religious communities, I felt more in love and connected with mission, and decided I wanted to join Maryknoll.

I like how missioners in the lands of Latin America, Africa, and Asia talk about the adventures of mission, the people they work with, their culture and faith, the different languages that they speak, and their costumes.  All are good elements for dialogue and transformation.

Little by little in my vocational journey, I felt more a passion for mission.  The contact with God’s people gives me the opportunity for spiritual growth and helps me see that I can do something.  Maybe I won’t have solutions for every problem in the world, but at least I can share my faith with others. I may be able to establish a dialogue with others.  I think that one of the rules for being a good missionary is to learn from others.  I believe that this learning is a mutual learning process whereby I learn from other cultures and the people of other cultures can learn from me.  Mission is the process whereby I share my faith in the risen Jesus Christ with others.

I see mission life style as a vocation which comes directly from God who calls me.  I believe that if he calls me he will provide me with the necessary tools for this kind of life.  If I answer the call, I must respond with a sincere and open heart, which at times is not easy.  However, I think that for me this is essential.  

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