By Leslie Ann Aquino
The World Youth Day that was held here in the country in 1995 became an instrument for a foreign delegate to discover his vocation.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle narrated his encounter with this individual during his Mass at the Manila Cathedral, Thursday.
He said he met the priest when he attended a meeting in Europe.
“At the end of the meeting, as we were leaving the room, one of the priests approached me and said: ‘Your Eminence, I have been in Manila.’ I said, really? He then said: ‘Yes, and I have never left Manila’,” recalled Tagle.
When the cardinal asked him where he lives in Manila, his reply was: “Manila is always in my heart.”
“He said: ‘I was a delegate of my country in the 1995 World Youth Day and there I saw faith. I saw the kind of people who believe. I saw people who are not ashamed of their faith and that changed my life. I decided to become a priest’,” said Tagle recalling his conversation with the priest.
His Eminence said when the priest returned to his home, he told his parents and girlfriend about his discovery.
“When he called his girlfriend she told him: ‘When you left, I’m a bit nervous. In my heart something told me that something will happen in Manila. My intuition got confirmed’,” Tagle said.
He said he also met a priest from Malaysia who also discovered his vocation here in Manila.
According to Tagle, the said priest is now the vicar for clergy in one of the diocese’s there.
The cardinal then took the opportunity to invite the youth present to enter the seminary.
“To the youth here today, you are already here in Manila. Others discovered their vocation here, and you are already here,” said Tagle.
“Please, young and not so young people of Manila, Pasay, Makati, San Juan, Mandaluyong, open your eyes. Open your eyes. Open your ears the Good News is being told to you. Listen, listen,” he added.
The Year 2018 has been declared by the Catholic Church here in the Philippines as the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated People.