A Spark Rekindled

A Zapotecan young man reflects on the path of his vocation.

Jose AntonioI am a Zapotecan. Thanks to my ancestors, my family, and my community, I have been fortunate to preserve the customs, traditions, and language of my pre-Columbian Aztec-Zapotecan culture.

When I was 12, I was curious about what being a priest and serving the community might mean. My godfather is a priest, and that’s probably where my curiosity came from. I forgot it for a while until I met a new messenger along the way.

I had emigrated to the U.S. and was working near Stockton, California, when I met the vocations director for the Sacred Heart Missionaries. This rekindled the flame I had known as a child. After participating in a retreat for vocational discernment I found and reaffirmed the call to respond with a simple, generous yes to the companion along the way, Jesus the Lord.

This path has not been easy, because pursuing my vocation means having to make many adjustments to a culture in which so many things are unfamiliar. But when you listen, God begins to work in you. I had to put my fears and doubts aside and made the decision to follow.

I trust that Jesus will guide me in the concrete situations of my life. I see my life in a different light now. I am about to return to the university and to continue along the long and difficult path ahead. With the support and accompaniment of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart I will continue this process of formation with perseverance until I reach the goal.

Your turn:

  • Did you ever feel the call as a child but then put it aside?
  • Is it now coming back?
  • What are your fears and concerns?

Converted colonizer

Bartolomé de las Casas did not rush to answer his vocation to the priesthood. But when he finally did, he put all his passion and energy at the service of justice for the indigenous people of the colonized lands. His work earned him the hatred of the powerful. In 1516, at age 73, he had to return to Spain because he was receiving death threats.

  • Did you ever feel that you were on the wrong path and tried to return to God?
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