EARL Sevilla, 42, admitted it took him 15 years before realizing he was meant for the priesthood.
The former loans officer was the oldest of six deacons who were ordained priests in a ceremony at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral yesterday.
Aside from Sevilla, Revs. Jubileo Gacho, Hezrod Jhud Cartagena, Venedict Into, Jeston del Castillo and Shervyll Mingo were also ordained priests.
After graduating from college in the seminary, Sevilla, who was born in Butuan City but spent most of his life in Cebu, went into a 15-year “regency” wherein a seminarian leaves his studies to serve the community.
During those years, Sevilla worked as a loans officer for a rural bank in Mandaue City.
Like any bachelor, Sevilla admitted he had a girlfriend while working in the bank.
But he felt a huge vacuum in his life and felt that God was missing from it.
“Nakaingon ko sa akong kinabuhi, lahi gyod ang vacuum nga na-feel nako sa akong kasingkasing. Mas malipayon ko nga ako ra usa (The vacuum I felt in my heart was different. I am happier being alone),” Sevilla said.
Unlike Sevilla, who decided to become a priest late in life, del Castillo, 30, made up his mind to serve God at an early age.
Castillo, a resident of Barangay Looc, Mandaue City, wanted to be a priest after he dreamed of God when he was still a young boy.
“Nagpadamgo ang Ginoo sa akoa, giingnan ko nga magpari ko (God told me in a dream that I should be a priest),” Castillo said.
In his message, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma urged the newly ordained priests to not treat the priesthood as a way to earn money but as a means to bring others closer to God.
He said priests have been facing numerous challenges these days, especially on how to remain true to their calling.
Last month, a priest from Marikina City was arrested by police for allegedly trying to have sex with a minor.
“Like any good thing, the gift of grace we received from God could be lost. We should treasure it through a life of prayer and closeness to the Lord. We should find meaning in this gift by living up to its purpose which is for the glory of God and the good of the people,” Palma said. (JKV)