On the afternoon of August 30, 2020, I and my batchmate, Nico Jay Del Mundo journeyed from Pampanga to the Seminary. This was a bit earlier than what I have expected. I thought that we will spend more time at home due to the pandemic. Because of this, I had to hastily prepare the things that I must bring with me and I was left with little time to prepare myself physically and emotionally and gather enough courage to face this new chapter in my life.
To others, it may just seem to be an ordinary travel from home towards a new home, like moving in to a new residence. But to me it was more than that. It was a personal exodus. The story of the Exodus in the Bible tells how the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt, by the leadership of Moses, through the guidance of God. I call my entrance to the seminary as my personal exodus in the sense that I am being delivered from my own Egypt: my old lifestyle, my endless wanderings, and my egoism. Just before our entrance day, I was struggling whether to leave or not. Like Moses, I was also full of doubts and uncertainties. I even questioned my abilities if I can survive seminary life. God’s answer to Moses consoles and uplifts me: “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you” (Exodus 3:12). Indeed, it is a risk to answer God’s call but the fact that it is He who calls, I should not worry. I must have faith and have courage.
Our batch name speaks of where we draw the strength to face the various challenges of seminary formation. “PIETAS” – the Gift of PIETY which enables us to endure the different challenges and sacrifices that comes along as we daily say “yes” to God’s call. It also allows us to recognize our core identity as God’s beloved, to understand the depth of His mercy and His abounding grace.
Sem. Paulo O. Magistrado is in his first year of formation and a medical technology specialist prior to his entrance to the Holy Apostles Senior Seminary. Sem. Paulo is from the Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga.