13 My Vocation Story - Br Ashwin Castellino

posted Jan 25, 2018, 9:46 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jan 25, 2018, 9:47 AM ]
In the world we find there is so much interest and inclination to make money, find good jobs, become professional people, but there are still few who leave everything behind to follow Jesus as a priest or religious. Today, I am here to share with you my story. How I made up my mind to follow Jesus in the priesthood.

Firstly, I would like to mention that many think that a vocation is a call. Yes, it is, but not as if an angel comes to you and calls you, or you are struck by some lightning and suddenly decide to join the priesthood. No, I strongly believe that a Vocation is a seed. A seed sown by God and cultivated by your parents, community, parish, etc. It is then nurtured over the years until you are finally ready to make a mature choice to follow that path. I clearly remember, the seed of my vocation was sown in my heart by my parents. My mum and dad were God-fearing parents, who really brought me up well in the faith; they always encouraged me to go for mass and to have a close relationship with God. I still remember the words of my father "Without Jesus, life has no meaning". This is what I carry with me all through my life.

But as I grew older and entered my youth, the idea of the priesthood just disappeared. I found myself caught up with all the youthful passions. I remember I had started working in a call center, right from the time I was in college, not because we never had money, but because I wanted to enjoy my life and spend money on my friends and in clubs. I was good in my studies and after I graduated, I got a good job in an international bank. I would say my life was set; I had been promoted as an assistant bank manager and also made many friends. I lacked nothing in life. I would go for Sunday mass and was also involved in the charismatic prayer group and that was it. But, even though I had the money, the luxuries of life, there was no inner peace. There was absolute zero satisfaction. I knew my life was incomplete; I was missing something in my life. It was during this time of restlessness, I remembered the words of my Father, "Without Jesus, life has no meaning". That seed of my vocation now came to my mind, and this is when I seriously started giving it a thought. It was difficult, because it meant giving up a lot of things, like my job, my family, my lifestyle, etc. But I realised that by holding on to these never gave me satisfaction or peace. So it was worth taking the risk. It took a long time to make up my mind. I was already working 5 yrs in the bank and due for another promotion.

What helped me make a decision was prayer; personal prayer. I would sit in the chapel and really ask God if this was His will in my life, to be a priest. Secondly, I spoke to a priest, about all what I felt, he was able to guide me and help me make the choice for the priesthood.