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Aspiring to serve with gladness

Simple household duties like washing the dishes, and making washup team rosters builds virtue.

Alyndo Woodhouse reflects on his experience thus far in the Aspirancy programme.

It all started on May 12, 2018. I didn’t know what to expect when I entered the Aspirancy House in St Joseph but there was also an expectant joy deep within my heart. Fearful at first, as time went by I felt more at home than ever before. I was where I needed to be, and doing what God was so earnestly calling me to do.

Surrounded by other like-minded men as myself, all desiring the same thing, that is, to know God’s will for our lives, I felt encouraged. My experience has been one filled with both joy and sorrow; doubts do present themselves from time to time.

Our director Fr Matthew d’Hereaux always reminds us that we ought to reflect in these moments of trials on our initial ‘Call’. This original inspiration is that moment in space and time in which we first heard God speaking to our hearts, for it is only in this revisiting will we find the strength and courage to persevere.

Thus far it has indeed been a challenging journey. The past six months have changed my life drastically from every aspect, especially spiritually and pastorally. Life has changed for the better: I see clearly my weaknesses and strengths, especially since there are others who aren’t afraid of calling me out on them.

I am able now to enter deeper discernment as the space provides for such. There is always something new within me that needs to be worked on. The process is a long one for a reason because we need good and holy priests.

Simple household duties like washing the dishes, and making washup team rosters builds virtue. Such duties have constantly shown me the selflessness that priests must embody for the sake of their people. Life isn’t about self but rather how important others are too. I am called to live selflessly. My actions affect the lives of others, not always directly but indirectly as well.

Living here with eight other personalities was another big challenge. Everyone has their own personality and way of doing things and I really had to adapt to the changes that were happening in the house and within myself. I am still adapting to the different personalities as it is an ongoing process that I must trust.

The Aspirancy House, in St Joseph is a place I would recommend to any young man who believes he is being summoned by God to give of his life for the Kingdom. I say to him, “Venture out into the unknown, for it is there that God wants to break you. Through this breaking, it is where He will repair you according to His ways.” Serve Him with gladness.