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Ricky O'Connor

Towards the end of high school about 17 or 18 I started to think more and more about the nature of the universe... where did we come from? Why are we here? What is the meaning of life and our very existence? After much thinking and deliberation I could not escape the fact that there had to be first cause, a prime being from which all other being's receive their existence. This was as it sounds a very basic deist view and I did not particularly think of this being as the personal God we know of in Christianity.

I found myself becoming more and more interested in what other people believed and why they believed it, so one day while out in Wexford town I called into the bookshop and picked up for myself a copy of the bible. (you know just to see what all the fuss was about). I started to read it as I would any other book, from beginning to end, and I found that even with no religious upbringing I was very familiar with the stories I was coming across, Noah and the Ark, Joseph and his brothers in Egypt, David and Goliath and Daniel in the lions den. Upon coming to the Gospels I was starting to read the Bible in a very different way then how I had started. I was no longer reading it as I would any other book, but was reading it in a very contemplative and prayerful way. I was praying the bible and didn't even realise.

After some serious thought I came to believe that what I was reading was not just some collection of old made up stories from 2000 years ago. It was the truth, and the deist view of God I held had transformed into the view that God is a personal God who knows me intimately, the same God who took upon himself our human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.

My next step to the Catholic faith took on a verse from scripture...

“Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you.”(Matthew 7:7)

I knocked on the door of the parish priest. He invited me in and over the next year we regularly went through the R.C.I.A. Programme and I was baptised the following Easter. I soon became the sacristan in my parish and with daily Mass and being present at funerals, weddings and baptisms, I felt as if something was calling me to be more a part of the Church. Notions of priesthood started to cross my mind and soon I was flooded with them. I confided all this to my parish priest and after some time of his guiding me, he put me in contact with the vocation director. After meeting the vocation director for a while and feeling that this was exactly where my life was leading, I applied to the diocese to enter seminary and was accepted.

As I am writing this now in April 2014, I am nearly at the end of my first year in seminary. Studying philosophy is opening my mind to think about things I have never even conceived of thinking about before. My year in the seminary has been very fulfilling, it has at times been challenging, but these challenges in turn have brought me into a deeper relationship with Christ, and this relationship with Christ has in fact brought me to a deeper knowledge and understanding of myself.

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Last Update Feb 08 2016

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