‘More than their intelligence, their joy attracted me, and the clear love they had for one another.’

The first time I felt called to the priesthood I was 7 years old. I was at Mass and the Priest said, ‘Do this in memory of me,’ there was a sort of interior knowing or acceptance that one day this is what I would do. I did not particularly want to be a priest at this time, nor I did not speak about this experience until roughly a decade later yet it has remained with me.

As the years went on, I went on pilgrimage to Pentasaph, the Shrine of Padre Pio in North Wales run by the Franciscans, and I knew I did not want to be a Franciscan even though I liked listening to them. Similarly, when I met the Jesuits at university in London, I enjoyed their company and found them fascinating, but I did not want to become a Jesuit.

Anytime priesthood crossed my mind I would say, ‘Lord if you want this, you have to show me, make the first move and I’ll come’ but I felt the hour was approaching there was always something else to do: finish my degree, find a job, do a masters. I became like Jonah dreading the Lord would find me; after all, why can’t I be like everyone else?

At university, I saw a video of Dominican Sisters playing the American Bible Challenge. More than their intelligence, their joy attracted me, and the clear love they had for one another. This led me to find the vocations video for the friars and at once I became amazed and yet afraid. It made sense now, why I did not feel drawn to the other ways of life.

I realised God made the first move.

To cut a long story short, I realised if Christ appeared to me and asked me to follow him, it would be strange to reply: ‘Give me a minute, I want to do a Masters.’ There was always an act of faith to be made, I had to participate, I had to do something, I had to respond. I knew no one can discern alone; only when Christ, through his Mystical Body, the Church, affirms me in this state of life by allowing me to make my vows could I say for certain ‘this is my vocation.’

I made solemn profession (vows until death) on the feast of the Queenship of Mary, 2020.