Hello, my name is Peter Venegas and I am 19 years old. I am the new seminarian at El Paso TX, starting in this wonderful journey that I was invited to. My vocation started in a stressful night. I am pretty sure all of us go through a day thinking “what is my purpose in life?”, “what am I good for?”, or maybe even “I don’t want to live the life I am pursuing, I want to invite God and ask him what I was really meant to do in life”. During this time I was seriously stressed up to the point where I was crying, I was yelling from the inside and just really asked God, “What do you want me to do in life? Why was I brought to this world? I want you to tell me tomorrow what was I created for”. And just like the saying, “Ask and you shall receive”, it happened. Sunday Mass came and just like every time when Mass finishes, everyone rushes to the door to either get blessed by the Priest or they don’t want to get in traffic at the church. But in that moment, when coming out of the Mass, someone pulled my hand and I turned around. It was the priest, Father Jose, and he asked me, “Do you want to become a priest?. Not a “Hello”, nor “How have you been?”, but just directly to the point and with a very serious tone. Honestly, I couldn’t react to that. I was frozen, paralyzed for a moment until I reacted and tried to be funny. I pulled my brother and said, “You’re asking him, right?”, and he said with a very serious tone, “I am asking you”, staring at me. In that moment, I felt that was the answer to what had happened last night. I couldn’t believe it. I thought he just asked because of the need for priests. But later on during the week I asked him, “Father, you know what you did?”. He said, “What?”; I said “You really astonished me that day you asked me if I wanted to become a priest”. He started laughing and said, “To tell you the truth, I did not plan that, I just knew that I had to reach out to you and everything else just happened”. Honestly, I did not accept this. Before, I would fall asleep during Mass. Two years have passed, and a lot of things have happened to me that I called coincidence. I was taught by a good friend of mine who is a priest that there are no such things as coincidence, there is only divine order.
Finally after those two years that I was searching what was I meant to do and not feeling complete in what I was doing, I came upon a little book that is called “Is Jesus calling you into the Priesthood?”. I did not remember that I had the book with me. I started to read it when night came by. I had to close it but I was still anxious the next morning to finish the little book. After finishing the book i just knew it. This was what I was created for. These signs that I have had the two years and feelings in Mass and in life has been God calling me. Finally, I decided to take a step into this feeling and did the paperwork to get accepted to the seminary, anxiously waiting in those weeks for the answer. Honestly, I haven’t been that nervous to get accepted for a long time. Finally the day came and I was accepted. I was happy in the inside and felt inspired in going in this journey and call that I received. One thing that was what I called a “coincidence” was that I started exactly in the day of my birthday. It was hard because we wanted to celebrate at the house, but I think God said “I want to celebrate with you and this is the gift I give to you”, and, honestly, what a gift have a received! This is the third and a half week that I am in the seminary and I do feel like this is where I belong, and what I was created for, and I want to pursue God’s will.
God bless you all, and God will respond whatever doubt or question in time. It can either be at the moment, the next day, or little by little. He will answer to you, be open and patient. And don’t be afraid to choose a vocation like this. We should take a moment in our life and ask God what do you want me to do in life; invite him.