Seminarian’s Testimony: Mark Bond

My first year at the seminary was the year I was invited to step back and take a look at myself. I quickly learned of my worries, my setbacks and faults, but also of my strengths, my capabilities, and my potential. The seminary challenged me not to be like Christ, as if inferring that Jesus was a model I had merely to imitate, but to be in Christ, to deepen my knowledge of Him, to hold Him at the center of my actions, so that in time, I could know myself all the better.

The first few weeks were a shock. I had overwhelming thoughts that I wasn’t good enough for the seminary, that I didn’t know my breviary, that there was no way I would be able to memorize the prayers, songs, or rosters. But soon enough, I felt at home, and I kindled friendships with many great seminarians that I am now pleased to call brothers.

The first year was academically light, which I enjoyed – it gave me time to focus on spiritual growth, and an increased prayer life. Of course, there was also free time to enjoy with my brother seminarians! Movies, airsoft shooting, van trips and video games made sure that we remained “in the world” between our holy hours and pastoral assignments. What I found was that I didn’t have to give up who I was to be a seminarian. I simply had to adjust some things, take out a few things here and there, and put a lot more of Jesus in their place. And I’ve never felt more blessed because of it. Sure, some days in my first year were harder than others, but there were no days where I didn’t feel at home. God definitely has His plans, and I trust He’ll lead me on wherever those plans must be fulfilled.