My call to the priesthood came out of the blue and yet I can see how the Lord was at work in my life even before the call came. I grew up in a Catholic family. We practised our faith consistently, however, my mother had a chronic illness. I would pray each night for the Lord to heal her and to keep our family together. This relationship with God was such that, even though I had wanted to be an astrophysicist from the age of 13, I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with my life. When I was 20, because the greater desire I had was to do what God wanted, I continued to ask Him this question as I went off to do my PhD in astrophysics. It was near the completion of my PhD, that I felt God was calling me to lay missionary work. However, I did not think that I could do it. I had my career path in astrophysics all set out. I had the expectation of my professors. I had a job waiting for me in Germany. It was like being on a boat in the middle of a stream with no oars and I was being carried along by the current of my career. I could not get off. However, I was not going to say no to God. So I said to God: “I cannot do what You are asking of me. So, if You want me to do it, You give me the strength.” About that same time, I had been invited to an outreach organised by the Disciples of Jesus Covenant Community. They ran a Life in the Spirit seminar, that was an important time for me. It was a time of conversion for I repented of a sin I had never repented of before and I was prayed over for Baptism in the Holy Spirit. I remember having a smile on my face from ear to ear that would not come off. I made an appointment with Fr Ken Barker from the Missionaries of God’s Love to talk about the struggle I had been having regarding lay missionary work and my career in astrophysics. Fr Ken mentioned that recently a lot of young men had been called to the priesthood.

The Lord opened my soul and let me see inside. In that instant it was as though I had always known that the Lord wanted me to be a priest even though I had been searching for five years.

 

By Fr Simon Wayte