What he once thought would be a miserable way to live life is what Allyn Rose has chosen to do with his: become a priest. He will be ordained next month for the archdiocese of Toronto. (Photo courtesy of the archdiocese of Toronto)When Allyn Rose was younger, he was always under the impression that life as a priest would be miserable.

That thinking changed so much over the years that now he is about to enter the priesthood.

Born in Orangeville, Ont., Rose was the middle of three children. He studied accounting at Sheridan College and the University of Windsor. All along, however, Rose volunteered in various capacities, including youth ministry, at St. Timothy’s parish in his hometown.

“Over time I was finding more happiness and fulfilment working as a volunteer in parish ministries,” said Rose, “and I was even more miserable working for a good salary at the chartered accountant firm.”

Pain leads to path to formation

Bradley Markus hopes to lead the faithful in Hamilton to the joy and peace found in God. (Photo courtesy of the archdiocese of Toronto)Bradley Markus’ vocation to the priesthood began 25 years ago, at the age of one, when his father passed away on Good Friday.

“In the midst of this world of suffering and pain, my vocation, my path in life was formed,” he said.

“I was schooled in what I think is the most important lesson in life — the lesson of what it means to truly love and the lesson of what it means to suffer with others.”

But until he was 17, Markus was unaware of this call. After spending a number of years in foster care and being uninvolved in the faith outside of First Communion and Confirmation, Markus began “searching for a greater meaning in life, something beyond drinking and partying and going out with friends.”

Parents ground him in faith

Ante Market will become a priest for the Peterborough diocese. (Photo courtesy of the archdiocese of Toronto)Ante Market can still remember hearing gunshots from his childhood home in a violent Toronto neighbourhood. This didn’t stop him from also hearing the call to the priesthood at the age of seven.

Market’s parents and their Croatian heritage, he says, gave him a solid grounding in the faith at a young age. His mother died only three years after his father did, when Market was 18. He says their influence and prayers are why he felt the call to the priesthood.

“(My mother) never shared with me who she was always praying for,” said Market. “I am convinced that the silent prayer of my mother is the reason why, God willing, I will be a priest.”

A decade of ignoring his call was wiped out in one Confession

Eric Mah’s call was reignited after attending Confession after a 15-year absence. (Photo courtesy of the archdiocese of Toronto)Whenever Eric Mah thought of the priesthood in his Grade 9 year of high school, he felt an “enduring sense of peace and joy and consolation.” But he spent more than a decade ignoring this feeling, however, before choosing to follow it.

While studying law in university, Mah was invited by his friend to a Lenten reconciliation service, where he had his first Confession in 15 years.

“After hearing the words of absolution, I remember feeling this huge weight lifted in my heart,” said Mah.

He was later asked by another friend to visit the seminary

Passion was for the Lord, not an engineering career

Andrew MacDonald will be ordained a priest for the diocese of Charlottetown this spring. (Photo courtesy of the archdiocese of Toronto)When he was six, Andrew MacDonald blessed himself like a priest following Mass one Sunday. At 31, he is now becoming one.

“The Lord was slowly opening my heart to the reality of the priesthood,” he said.

“I had no idea at the time, but that’s the case.”

God continued to gently lure MacDonald to the priesthood throughout his youth, when he attended a number of retreats in Prince Edward Island, where he was born and raised. Attending public school in a Protestant community, MacDonald was “blown away” by being with so many other passionate Catholics.

Pope Benedict says prayer, mission were foundations of John Paul's life

Pope John Paul II is seen in a promotional image for the Polish-produced documentary, VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul II's life and ministry were built on prayer and on witnessing to the Gospel, Pope Benedict XVI said after watching a Polish-produced documentary about his predecessor.

"Once again I want to underline the two foundations of his life and ministry: prayer and missionary zeal," the pope said April 9 after a Vatican screening of the documentary, "John Paul II: I Kept Looking for You."

Pope Benedict watched the film in the early evening with the director and producers, several cardinals and Vatican officials.

After the screening, he said: "John Paul II was a great contemplative and a great apostle. God chose him for the see of Peter and protected him so he could lead the church into the third millennium. With his example he guided us all in this pilgrimage and still continues to accompany us from heaven."

Kusyk’s call to serve was first heard at age 13

Jan Michael KusykJan Michael Kusyk faced the greatest obstacle to his vocation to the priesthood, and to his life, before even being born.

“I was only six weeks old, still in my mother’s womb, when my mother’s doctor informed her that her body was rejecting me and that the only alternative that made any sense was for her to abort me,” said Kusyk.

His parents returned from that visit to the doctor and prayed for the intercession of St. Joseph. A month later, they consulted another doctor, and to their surprise, their son was doing fine.

Kusyk was born healthy in Bamberg, Germany, and spent his childhood in London, Ont. At 13, he remembers feeling a call to the priesthood in the most unlikely of cicrumstances.

John Paul II’s holiness paves way to sainthood

A woman holds a calendar with an image of the late Pope John Paul II during an event in Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium to mark the sixth anniversary of his death April 2. The late pope will be beatified May 1. (CNS photo/Jorge Dan Lopez, Reuters)ROME - Pope John Paul II is being beatified not because of his impact on history or on the Catholic Church, but because of the way he lived the Christian virtues of faith, hope and love, said Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes.

"Clearly his cause was put on the fast track, but the process was done carefully and meticulously, following the rules Pope John Paul himself issued in 1983," the cardinal said April 1, during a conference at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

The cardinal said the Church wanted to respond positively to many Catholics' hopes to have Pope John Paul beatified quickly, but it also wanted to be certain that the pope, who died in 2005, is in heaven.

Pope advances sainthood cause of Canadian brother

Brother Chatillon, who lived 1871-1929, taught in schools in Quebec and at the Christian Brothers' novitiate. (image from lasalle.org)VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI advanced the sainthood causes of 35 candidates, including Canadian Christian Brother Adolphe Chatillon.

During a meeting April 2 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, the Pope signed a decree recognizing that Brother Chatillon lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way.

Before Brother Chatillon can be beatified, the Pope would have to recognize a miracle attributed to his intercession.

Brother Chatillon, who lived 1871-1929, taught in schools in Quebec and at the Christian Brothers' novitiate. Born in Nicolet, Que., he was a model pupil in school before entering the novitiate of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, where he took the name Br. Theophanius Leo.
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