In 2006 I was in 12th grade and came to Divine Word College (DWC) on a “Come and See” campus visit. I had an amazing experience. Though I was only 18 years old, I got a sense of what religious life is all about. Staying at the college, I saw that everyone was very close to one another, and it seemed like a very peaceful place.
When I returned home from my “Come and See” visit, there was a conscious feeling in my heart telling me to return–but in the end, I did not enroll, simply because I was too young and I wanted to experience life outside of a seminary first before making any decision. I kept Divine Word College in the back of my mind.
I continued to be involved with my parish and as I developed my spiritual life, the conscious feeling of wanting to go back to Divine Word Collage grew more and more. In 2010, I finally closed my eyes and took a leap of faith. It has been four and one half years since I first enrolled at DWC. I will graduate in December 2014.
There are no words to describe my experience here. Before I entered, I thought I knew it all and I thought I knew myself. My experiences here taught me otherwise. Here I had more time to pray and focus on my spirituality. I had more time to reflect on my personal life, and see what God truly wants from me. Whenever I was feeling down or facing a problem, I had brothers and sisters around me to help me and guide me back to my feet.
My philosophy is that God is love, but we are unable to truly and fully understand His love. However, you can sense His love through the actions of those around you. Here at DWC, I was able to understand the love of God stronger and deeper through the actions of my brothers and sisters. For example, when there is a big event here DWC such as Mission Sunday, we all work as one in order to make the event happen. I am able to see and discover how God is at work through the loving actions that my brothers and sisters exhibit.
Looking back at my time here, I’m thankful for every minute. Time truly went by quickly and I finally found a place where I belong. Even though the community here at DWC is small, it has given me the strength to take what I learn and apply it to my new journey in life after I graduate. I was able to find my calling and enhance the love that I have for God at a deeper level. My goal next year is to enter into the novitiate, and to continue on the journey with The Society of the Divine Word.
All this is possible because I was able to see that Divine Word College would give me a great opportunity, and by joining the Society of the Divine Word, I will be able to give back to the community.