I attribute my vocation to the priesthood to our Blessed Mother. At a young age, I was introduced to her through the praying of the rosary. My aunt, who was a catechist, gathered the young people in our neighborhood for catechism class during summer vacation. She patiently taught us the basic prayers and basic doctrines of the Church; in the afternoons, we had our block rosary.
I can still remember the prayerful disposition we had during the praying of the rosary in the assigned house for that day, and the teasing and joking among my cousins and neighbors after the block rosary. Since then, with some intervals, I had been involved in church ministries even when I was working abroad.
For this reason, I believe that when God finally called me to the vocation of priesthood, I was not able to say no. Although it was not an easy decision because internal struggles, doubts and disbelief overwhelmed me. But God allowed me to remember those days of the past when I was enjoying the love and care of the Blessed Mother with pure and innocent faith. Not to mention the many instances when I invoked her maternal guidance and protection in times of danger, fear, worries and even when making hard decisions.
Pope John Paul II was known to be a fervent devotee of the Blessed Mother. He attributed his safety from the failed assassination against him to Mary. He then had the bullets recovered from his body placed on the crown of the Blessed Mother in Fatima. Our very own Jaime Cardinal Sin was also known as an ardent devotee; seldom was he seen without a rosary in his hand. Both of them had their vocation to the priesthood and eventually their priestly ministry entrusted to the maternal care of the Blessed Mother.
In the same way, I have also placed under her maternal care the nurturing of my vocation to the priesthood. At the cross, He entrusted to His disciples the care of the Blessed Mother. With this divine mandate, I can be assured that the seed of vocation planted in me by God will be nurtured to its fulfillment with the help and prayer of our Blessed Mother.