MOSAIC Fall 2015 - Page 19

Kevin Yono, 28 Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle Second-year Philosophy MEET YOUR SEMINARIANS Finally Asking the Question T he Holy Spirit can ignite the fire of a call to the priesthood at an early age. The first times I felt called to be a priest was when I was about twelve. I was at Mass at my parish, St. Thomas Chaldean, in West Bloomfield, and Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim was speaking at our church. I clearly remember him asking the congregation if anyone was open to the idea of being called to the priesthood. I’ll never forget that day because I felt my heart leap and stir, and the desire to serve Jesus as one of his priests became, at that time, a consuming desire within my heart. Reflecting on this incident, I believe the intensity of this desire was from the Holy Spirit. Time, however, ran its course. Upon starting my first year of college at Wayne State University, the furthest thing on my mind was pursuing the call to the priesthood I had felt at a younger age. But one night in prayer, I made the decision to actually ask God what he wanted me to do with my life—the first time I had ever asked God this question. Being skeptical, I didn’t think he would actually answer me. In my prayer, I also was asking God what he wanted me to do with my life in a career sense, not in the sense of what my vocation in life was. God, however, ignored (thankfully) the career aspect of the question. He responded quickly and clearly—it was to his priesthood he was inviting me. Still, I was unwilling to respond; my heart just wasn’t open. It wasn’t until a few years later when I underwent a deeper conversion, facilitated by the holy example of our current bishop, Bishop Francis Kalabat, that I was finally able to respond to God’s call with an open heart and thus continue my discernment. I began to see that as my faith increased, my surrender to Christ in all things deepened, matured, and developed. I experienced a growing desire to serve my neighbor and give everything over to Jesus. I also began to evangelize those around me. Nothing would fill my heart with as much joy as sharing the love of Jesus. Our Blessed Mother Mary had, and still to this day has, a vital role in nurturing my vocation, particularly in allowing me to love God more purely, especially through Eucharistic adoration. Sacred Heart has been the ideal place to discern and to prepare myself for the vocation of the priesthood, particularly through the example of the priests here at the Heart. I consider myself blessed to be here. shms.edu 17