A fulfilling journey from police to seminary

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I am thankful to galaxy of people who came on my way supporting, guiding, encouraging and caring in varied ways. I am sure that God was present through them and events of life. I have no complaints but only gratitude to God for everything that life has provided me.Twists and turns are part of life. I have had several of them. Each step taught me invaluable lessons, providing me ample opportunities and challenges to explore many options and pursue my heart’s desire with optimism and hope.

Let me share my journey in a nutshell. I hail from St. Francis Assisi Church, Nanesera, of Simdega diocese, Jharkhand. I am seminarian for the diocese of Hazaribagh (Jharkhand). At present, I am in the first year theology course at Morning Star Regional Seminary, Kolkata. My parents are alive. Both retired from their jobs. I have one brother. He is a bus driver in Simdega. I had one sister. She was nurse in Dumka. She passed away a few years ago.

On May 5, 1999, with my aunty, I went to Mumbai without any purpose in mind then. Every one spoke English in the area we were staying. So, I tried to learn English by listening to others. I did nothing (in terms of job) in Mumbai, but the stay gave me a valuable exposure and helped broaden my worldview. After one year, I came back home on May 12, 2000.

At home I met another aunty who lived in Ahmadabad, Gujarat. I decided to go with her on May 31, 2000 to seek job prospective. I got an employment at a hospital in Ahmadabad. After 15 days, I met two seminarians on their way to St. Xavier’s College, where they were studying. We introduced each other and became friends. I asked them about the college studies and admission requirements and procedures. With their encouragement and guidance, I decided to purse my Bachelors Degree (BA) in the same college.

I enrolled at St. Xavier’s College, Ahmadabad on June 15, 2000. I had classes from 7:30 am to 10:00 am. I left the job because of my classes. I got another job in a five star hotel. I had duty from 5:00 pm to 12:00 am. I worked sincerely, because of this, I was appointed as a supervisor. I completed my B. A. in 2003. I enjoyed working to the full.

During my college studies I participated in sports and athletics at the national level. I was one of the representatives of St. Xavier’s College and Gujarat University, Ahmadabad. I was selected in cross-country (12.500 km) for the Olympics in October 2000.

Because of my sports and athletics, I got a job in Gujarat Police. I served the state as a police man for five years in Ahmedabad. On September 16, 2005, while playing basket ball, I got hurt deeply in my right knee. After two months I went home to Jharkhand.

I could not walk properly for six months and was confined to bed. I struggled for walking, standing, sitting and sleeping for one year. After May, 2006, I began to walk slowly with lengthy medical treatment, family members’ care and God’s grace.

Meanwhile, there was a vacancy for teacher’s post at Roman Catholic Middle School, Nanesera, my home parish. I was selected for the post and I taught there for one year from (July 11, 2006 – May 31, 2007).

During my teaching stint, I had many chances to interact with priests and nuns, who worked there. I also closely observed the lives and activities of priests and nuns. They inspired me through their witnesses and missionary works. That kindled in me a wish to become a priest, but I struggled to discern this life for one month.

Finally, I decided to become a priest. I wrote three letters to three different places: one for the diocese of Hazaribag, one for Nepal Jesuit Province, Kathmandu and one for Third Order Regular of St Francis (TOR), Ranchi, Jharkhand.

I received the first reply letter from the Diocese of Hazaribagh. Its vocation camp was scheduled for May 3-7, 2007 in Hazaribagh. I received the second letter from Nepal. The vocation camp of Nepal was in Gumla from July 1-7, 2007. Finally, I decided to join for the Diocese of Hazaribagh. I attended the vocation camp in Hazaribagh and I was selected.

From then on, the journey of seminary formation began: language course at Hazaribagh (2007-2008), spiritual orientation course in Agra (2008-2009), philosophy at St. Charles Seminary, Nagpur (2009-2012), regency (exposure) at Hazaribagh (2012-2014) and theology at Morning Star Regional Seminary, Kolkota (2014).

Despite, many twists and turns of my life, I have felt that I have grown in varied ways. I wish that God will bless me to finish my seminary training, and eagerly look forward to serving the Lord as a missionary.

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