I often find it difficult to narrate the details of my vocation journey. At face value, there is nothing fantastical about responding to my call. It’s been a gradual progression of being led by the Spirit to a way of life that has brought me peace, joy, and hope. The events of my journey are easy enough to keep in mind and in relative order, but their impact taken as a whole is too great to ever articulate fully.
From an early age, I can remember being a helpful kid. Surely my temperament contributed to me being disposed to assist others, but my unconscious nurturing of this attribute instilled a deep desire to help others. Soon enough, I was qualifying career choices based upon the perceived qualitative and quantitative impact they could have on the lives of others. I naturally gravitated to the medical profession and focused on obtaining a degree in the sciences.
Almost concurrently while in college, I began exploring more about the faith I inherited from my parents. I would read books on apologetics and spirituality as I commuted to and from school. My learning of the faith propelled me not only to live it, but also to share it. I got more involved at my home parish, first as a Eucharistic minister and then as a catechist. As my relationship with God and my community deepened, so did my appreciation for the Claretian missionaries who ministered at my parish. Their witness of advocating for the rights of a marginalized immigrant community on the Southside of Chicago and their stories of accompanying an indigenous community in Guatemala during the country’s civil war revealed to me the many ways a Claretian Missionary can serve the people of God.
After years of discerning and wonderful experiences, I found my true helpful self in being a Claretian Missionary, a man on fire with God’s love for the whole world.
Father Agustin Carrillo, A Claretian Missionary.