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Casimir Umar has completed his first year as a seminarian in Initiation Year at St Peter’s College Kota Kinabalu. He comes from the Archdiocese of Kuching, Sarawak. He shares with us on his experience in the seminary.
Being different in character, point of view, style and so many other ways, these are the ingredients living in the IY Formation House. It helps me to see things in wider perspective without prejudice. It is not easy, but challenging. The experience living here will surely nourish and enlighten my future journey. Other than my fellow brothers, the parishioners have also supported me in shaping my character and spirituality.
For me, Initiation Year in St Peter’s College, KK, is a year of reflection and discernment. Looking inward at my inner self is very crucial as it is a time for me to decide whether to proceed or to discern another direction. But so far the path has been quite clear for me to journey forward in this challenging formation. In order to stay focus and not overly ambitious, I motivate myself with the attitude of “taking one day at a time”. It sounds so simple but consistent prayers have sustained me to be firm and focus. In short, Initiation Year Formation House is a “Prayer Playground”.
I didn’t feel like I’m the only Sarawakian among the ten residents here. It feels like in my own hometown as our cultures are more or less similar. Reaching out during the pastoral visits as we lived our our theme “Joy of the Gospel”, has boosted my spirit to move on in this journey after seeing the enthusiasm in the youths especially in the rural areas.
Eagerness and determination to learn are my strengths. I have learnt a lot of new things here. Give and take is the atmosphere required living in a community. It’s vital to learn from the lecturers and teachers and to share knowledge and talents with the brothers.
Every minute is a mission for me. Yes, I could not become like the saints and martyrs but I would say at least I am inspired by their way of life.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to my Spiritual Director, Fr Rayner, who has shown me the direction which I could not see, as well as all those who have given me words of encouragement.