2021 — II Theology

Omar Galván, Immaculate Conception Church, Fort Smith

Attends St. Meinrad Seminary, Indiana

I originally felt called to the priesthood when I served as a youth group coordinator. Every Saturday during those two years, I would go to the youth group with a prepared talk. I also served in several youth retreats. During this time, I felt the call to the priesthood more intensely.

After high school, I attended two years of college and sought a career, but instead of finding a career, I found my vocation. The beautiful thing about formation is, if it is taken seriously, it presents a lot of changes in life. For example, after reviewing all that I have done these past years, I have experienced many lessons and faced obstacles.

One of the greatest discoveries is how I have changed. I have gotten to know myself more: I can identify my weaknesses and try, each day, to learn from them. I also recognize my strengths and utilize them to help others.

Getting to know myself in a deeper sense has helped me develop a stronger relationship with God. The process of getting to know myself is a two-man job, God and I. God has shown me the things that I need to work on. To change for the better, I had much help from my spiritual director and my formators. They have helped me with providing “food,” which I take into prayer with God.

After I accepted my vocation, I lived in the House of Formation for four year, where I received Spanish, psychology and philosophy degrees. I now attend St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana, where I am studying theology for four years. This change brought about new obstacles and problems, but also new perspectives and new insights. I’m excited to share this step of my formation with seven fellow seminarians from this diocese, whom I call brothers.

The commitment to my vocation has grown more and more because of the people of this diocese. I have had the privilege of traveling to several parishes for different events. The kindness of the people of the diocese encourages my commitment to my vocation and makes me desire the priesthood more than anything.

Being present with the people during a parish event is beyond describable. Seeing the parishioners happy to see me at their parish activity makes me so happy to serve God. At that moment, I feel blessed and grateful to be a part of people’s lives, hoping that one day I will be the one serving them as a priest. A new challenge for me is being far away from the people of the diocese, who have always encouraged me throughout my formation. But I know I can count on prayers from all the Diocese of Little Rock.