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Nick Pang is a first year student at the Montreal Diocesan Theological College, and has been active in youth events in the Anglican Church of Canada and internationally for several years. We asked for his reflections on his discernment process that led him this point.
The priesthood is an inconceivable vocation for a lot of people. Just last week I was explaining to a classmate that I was studying to be ordained as an Anglican priest. The first words out of her mouth were: “okay, so… next question – why??” To be honest, I’m not always sure. I’m not sure I know how to answer that question, and I’m not even sure that it’s possible for me to answer it.
Thankfully, a vocation to ordained ministry really isn’t about following what would seem, in the moment, to be merely a fun or exciting job. Growing up I would change my dream job every few weeks, every time I came across a new book I liked, or a new subject in school – it ranged from a jockey to an RCMP officer to a chemist. My sense of my own vocation is something entirely different. It doesn’t feel like something I stumbled across one day or something that I’ll grow out of. It feels like something that’s been growing inside me over the years. I was five the first time I turned my eyes to the front of the church, leaned over to my mother and whispered, “One day, I want to be prime Minister, just like him!” I was sixteen when I realized that I would never feel at home in the sciences, looking to help the world through the pharmaceutical industry. I was nineteen when I headed off to Bible college in New Brunswick and it was in that year that I discovered the Anglican liturgy and the Anglican community. I was twenty-four when I entered into the seminary
I never had the chance to experience a program like the Montreal Ministry Internship, although it would have been a fantastic way to dip my toes in the waters of Anglicanism. I’ve been around the church enough at this point to know that ministry of any sort isn’t simple. There is much joy to be found in the church but there is also lots of hard work to be done ahead. One of the most encouraging aspects of seminary is the opportunity to do this planning and discerning as part of a group working together toward a common goal. That will be one of the greatest strengths of the Montreal Ministry Internship. That’s what I would have loved to have found a few years ago when my discernment process began. It’s an opportunity not to be passed up!