It was one year ago today when I was ordained to the priesthood of Jesus by his Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Ignatius A. Kaigama, for the Congregation of the Servants of Charity. One year has passed; here I am filled with too many experiences and blessings to recount. Of course, the feelings of excitement have gradually died down, but a profound experience of joy and gratitude remains stronger.
This year has been the most challenging and outstanding in my life, basically because everything I have done this year has been a first: First mass, first sick call, first wedding celebration, first time acting as a chaplain and so on. Of course being the first time means that the year has also been a year of mistakes and learning. But I thank God for His graciousness and support because he has make up for my failings.
One thing that I have grown used to saying this year is “I am sorry”. I think that is very important for my personal growth even as I am preparing for second year of fresh experiences, fresh encounters with God and his people.
I am constantly reminded by the people of God never to loss my sense of happiness and smile. How this is possible I really don’t know, but I think that as long as I love what I do every day, I shall constantly attain happiness which will resonate with the hope I proclaim to people.
One of the things that humble me as a priest is standing at the Altar and pronouncing those words of consecration: “This is my Body”. To me, that is the humblest and the greatest challenge of my humanity. This word reminds me that I am only a channel of God’s grace—an instrument of his Providence. It reminds me of the need to always remain humble and confront life with gentle aura and peace.
I have seen how priesthood can be physically tasking. I am moved by the sanctity of the people I meet in the church and the children at school. I am touched by their struggles and the trust they place on me. They make me more aware of my own humanity and sinfulness especially in the confessional.
Looking back through this past one year I am most grateful to God for this gift and the continued strength to carry on. I am most humbled and overjoyed to share it and to have a feeling that I am part of something bigger than who I am. My deepest thanks go to all of you for sharing this journeying with me. God bless you abundantly.