Joshua Roldan Photo by Emanuel Pires

Ordinandi found peace in God

  • April 21, 2013

TORONTO - For Joshua Roldan, true peace is only found in the Lord.

“The only thing I want to do is to give my life to God,” Roldan told an audience of more than 1,700 people at the Ordinandi Dinner held in Toronto last month, where he shared the story of his call to the priesthood.

On May 11, Roldan will become the only priest ordained this year for the archdiocese of Toronto.

Roldan first attended the dinner in 2002 at the invitation of his high school chaplain, who believed Roldan was called to be a Catholic priest.

“I said, ‘No way. You’re crazy,’ ” he told attendees with a laugh.

But he left the dinner asking himself if God was calling him to be a priest.

Soon after, though, he dismissed it as a phase, deciding to focus only on himself. Surely, he thought, God would agree with all the plans he had made for his life.

“I entered the University of Toronto with dreams of becoming a teacher and studying math because I have a deep love and passion for calculus,” he said.

He moved downtown and began to live the life he believed would make him happy. But to his surprise, the more he lived that life, the emptier he felt, he said.

“I felt like I was being pulled in multiple directions. I was never at peace no matter what I did. I didn’t know what was happening to me and I didn’t know how to deal with it.”

During his second year of university, a friend encouraged him to return to Mass. Heeding this advice, he went back to the Newman Centre on the University of Toronto campus.

“The more time I spent with the Lord, the more peace and calm entered into my life.”

Once more, thoughts of the priesthood began to enter Roldan’s mind.

“I didn’t know what was happening, nor did I know what was going to happen to me… All I knew is that I needed to give the Lord time.”

Throughout his formation at both Serra House and St. Augustine’s Seminary, he began to “fall in love with the priesthood” more and more.

Along his journey to the priesthood, there have been both joys and struggles, he said.

“But at every point, the Lord was always there,” he said. “All I had to do was follow Him.”

(Santilli is a freelance writer in Toronto.)

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