Sem. Arnel A. Calata Jr.
When I entered the seminary, I was 25 years old. Prior to my entrance to the seminary, I consider myself to have achieved many things in life. Even if not with flying colors, I finished my primary and secondary education without failing grades and at a very young age. I was 15 years old when I graduated in High School. I then pursued college at the University of Santo Tomas where I took Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology. I passed the Medical Technology Licensure Examination at age 19. After that, I was employed at the age of 20 in a prestigious institution, the Manila Doctors Hospital. I also tried some other activities in life which I really enjoyed. I became a part-time mountaineer and entrepreneur. In the course of my life, I have been an actor, a mountaineer, a professional and so much more. But two of the most precious achievements that I treasure are my developed ability to create and deepen relationships and my home grown gift of vocation which was nurtured by my continued exposure to parish work.
My family played a big part in giving me inspiration, especially my parents. Those people who have been helping me grow intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and even took time to help me financially, like my relatives, friends and benefactors, are very potent sources of my strength. The help and support, the pains and the hurts that those people have sacrificed for me have been converted as the foundation of a stronger and better me. Many important events have also been important sources of strength for me, like the many hellos and goodbyes of my mother (because she is an overseas Filipino worker), the discernment process that I underwent and many other events in my life.
Before, I dreamed of being a doctor and being successful in the medical field but after the discernment processes that I had been through, I realized that these dreams and aspirations proved to be only secondary. When I said my yes to God’s call, I put all my dreams and ambitions under the power of His will. God has designed for me a life, a story in which I ought to participate by submitting my own plans to his powerful and fantastic designs. For now, I only aspire to be God’s good priest and a pastor through submitting myself to whatever the formation demands of me. I believe it is God’s blueprint for me.