In the stairwell 

Once upon a time, I walked down the stairwell of Mount Angel Seminary and met Alfred, the new seminarian who was moving in to seminary for the very first time. I imagine my energy and personality may have overwhelmed him as I was someone so extroverted and passionate for seminary during those years.
During that initial year, I found him to be very reserved. Yet, as the years progressed, Alfred and I have shared a special bond with each other. He shared his culture, passion for the liturgy, and above all his friendship with me. 
Even when his mother was called by the Lord I found him in my room that early morning in his grief seeking a friend’s consolation. Since then, Alfred has always been a steadfast friend who has helped me bear my own cross in life.

Earlier this week, I traveled to Hawaii to witness a momentous occasion. Alfred responded to the divine call of God to the sacred duty of the ministerial priesthood – a life that is no longer his own- in an entire life service to the people of Honolulu. 
His sister offered him a Hawaiian Floral Lei that evening as he dawned the priestly chasuble. As countless priests came to embrace him with a fraternal hug the leaves of the lei began to shed. It was poetic for me as it was an image of how he, as a priest of God, will now spend his life tirelessly shedding his life for others- dying for others in order that they may rise in Christ. I finally understood and with deep gratitude came to realize that through all the crosses we have helped each other carry through the years- that reserved friend who I met in the stairwell, had finally made it! Responded to divine love … my friend is a priest forever. I hope that I, too, may live my vocation as it reveals itself. 

Here’s a picture of such a happy reunion during this short visit to paradise:


About TheAspiringCatholic

Welcome and thank you for visiting this page! You’ll find my personal reflections on Christian Discipleship, insights on my adventures throughout the world, one day at a time, and musing everything Catholic and musical with a cup of coffee each morning.
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2 Responses to In the stairwell 

  1. Jan says:

    Thank you for sharing this very personal story. I’ve been meaning to write to you since you told all of us your final decision. I know that was reached after many hours is discernment, and we are happy for you! It had to have been very difficult, especially feeling that you may have disappointed so many. You have so many ways to fulfill your life of faith and I feel very blessed that you crossed our path while at St Joseph’s. We all enjoyed some good laughs, meals, and a very special friend! Please know that if you are ever in So Cal, please let us know and we would be happy to see you again….and we even have an extra bedroom for guests. We would love to take you to the prince of Peace Abby for mass….we really find it very quiet and peaceful! Peace! Jan & Jerry. 😊

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