The Accomplishment of a Vocation Promoter
by Bernie Durangparang
It is a memorable feat, having another recruit ordained. No other feelings can describe it but happiness. I couldn’t hold my tears when Fr. Louie Ybañez started to impart his blessing especially to Bishop De La Peña and fellow priests during his ordination.
Bernie Durangparang with Fr. Louie Ybañez
I am in my 23rd year as a Columban vocation promoter. As of this writing, I am 48 years old. When I turned 40, I began counting my accomplishments. I asked myself, “Oh my God, what have I contributed to the community? What am I doing in this world?” At that time, I thought I haven’t accomplished anything yet. I felt guilty, sad and downhearted until I realized that the kind of work I have, accompanying young people who are discerning their vocation in life, is in itself a great accomplishment. A few had become priests and some may have been called to other paths in life, but I am sure that in accompanying them, I was able to impart some values and touch their lives in one way or another.
I am very happy for Louie, a priest I had accompanied during his discernment period before joining the Columban Formation Program. This is yet another occasion that reminds me of my role and responsibility as a vocation promoter.
Vocation ministry is hard work. There were times I felt like giving up, thinking I was no longer effective as a promoter. I felt exhausted. But witnessing Louie receiving the gift of priesthood has inspired me again. It fuels me to continue being an instrument of God by fulfilling my commitment to the ministry.
Bernie during a vocation talk at Central Philippine State University – Ilog Campus, Negros Occidental