Piece of Advice for Anyone Discerning the Priesthood or Religious Life
By Uriel Briones, Claretian Seminarian
My name is Uriel Briones. I am 24 years old and a new seminarian for the Congregation of the Claretian Missionaries. I’ve spent the last five and a half years discerning my call to the priesthood. Throughout my time, I spent reflecting, praying, building strength and becoming active in my home parishes. Along the sidelines, I was even working on my college education. It never occurred to me that I would become a part of the Claretian community, because I initially wanted to go through my home diocese, the Diocese of Peoria. However, the important matter was to continue searching for who God wants me to be.
When I entered Claretian seminary, I was very excited and at the same time I was also afraid as well. Leaving home and the uncertainties I had about my overall formation, in ways it gave me a lot of mixed feelings. I’ve only spent seven months discerning with the Claretians prior to becoming a seminarian which relates to the amount of uncertainties that I’ve had. Yet, I have been able to witness what it means to be a part of the community and how as Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, they continue to emulate Jesus’ disciples in the style that St. Anthony Mary Claret taught to his followers. Despite my stance, I continued to walk the path; seeing and learning where this journey with the Claretians will take me. In other words, it was a chance for me to grow.
For anyone who is discerning their path to priesthood or religious life, the best piece of advice I want to offer is to always have faith in the Lord no matter what challenges you face as you go on your journey. Even though I am a new seminarian, I’m still learning new things and continuously discerning my path into God’s will. The important matter is to continue praying, asking the Lord to guide you through every obstacle. Pray for the intercessions of your favorite saints, Jesus Christ and Mary our Mother to guide you. Especially at times when you feel afraid or even have doubts. In addition, always have support from your family, friends, and even colleagues. They will always be there to support you through every decision you make. The more important matter is for you to make the most of your journey.
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