Woops…it looks like I’ve forgotten to post anything on this blog again! Well, as they say, better late than never.
Where did I leave you last?
It looks like I had finished my exams and waiting for my interview with the Bishop. Well, I have happy news for you: he asked me to start seminary formation this September.
My interview was a bit scary. I couldn’t really sleep very well the night before. I knew it was just a formality, but still, one shouldn’t jump the gun. I had this ill-thought out plan that I could be a Dominican, which soon sent me to sleep.
The next day, I was pacing. My meeting was in the afternoon. I was a bit too anxious to have any lunch, and a good friend of mine offered to pick me up to drive me to the episcopal residence at two. I was very grateful, not only because the buses were all messed up, but I was very tense, and needed some friendship to relax me.
When we got there, it just happened to be the same date at the parish priests’ annual synodal gathering on the diocesan complex. We were early, and so took a walk around the garden, and all the priests were looking at us through the windows, wondering what we were doing and who we were. On the way back round, we bumped into the Vocations Director, Vicar General and Bishop’s Secretary (which sounds like the preface to a bad joke), and myself and the Vocations Director were summoned into the house; I asked my friend to pray hard for me!
The meeting was relaxed and congenial, which calmed me down somewhat. Then we proceeded to discuss the psychological report (which excited my nerves again) and the report from the selection conferece. I was told what mark I had been given, but not understanding what it all meant, I was told I got a good grade and that they had suggested I be accepted. They had noted that the only concern was my age, but at 21, that was summarily dismissed there and then.
In fact, one moment in the meeting has remained with me. After being asked whether I played priest as a child, I said I did, I enjoyed doing so, and that I used a white dressing gown, to which I was asked, “so you thought you were the Pope?!” “Maybe,” I said, “I had ideas above my station back then.” I was struck down imediately: “not necessarily!”
So, here came the question: “I’d like you to begin seminary formation this September, if you are willing?”
Unfortunately, it wasn’t worded in a way I could answer by saying something grand like: “I accept”, so instead, I smiled and gave my answer, “yes…yes, I’d like that very much.”
After congratulations by those present, I felt like I had been absorbed into the system. I was very relieved, obviously, and very happy, and not only because I had just been told the finance office will contact me. We went outside, the bishop told my friend the news who appeared more ecstatic that I had, although apparently, according to the psychologists, that’s upsurprising!
We travelled back home, and I slowly descended from the clouds, and thus began the task of ringing round everyone to tell them my good news.