A fulfilling journey from police to seminary

I have grown in varied ways

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.

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.

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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