It was in the year 2011. Some time before May. I had finished my SSLC Examination, and was waiting for the results as well as thinking of my future. One fine day, I got a phone call. It was 10:00 p.m. I heard a gentle voice asking me: “Do you want to become a Priest?” I felt quite surprised, but I said: “Yes.” Again I heard: “I will visit you tomorrow.”
It was from then on that my life took a new turn. After attending all the camps, I came to a new home. It was full of boys of my age. I knew none of them. I saw some, seeming to be quite free attending to different works and even guiding others. I also saw some others, lost and anxious like me. It was the very first time that I was living away from my home and my parents. Initially, I often felt sad and was like a fish out of water. However, as the days went by, the words I saw on the first day, “A Home away from Home,” began to make sense. I slowly began to enjoy being in Navasadhana. The dedicated service of Frs. Arun and Ronnie and then that of Schs.Balakiran and Dheeraj shaped me well.
Now, when I look back at those two inspiring and golden years, I feel contented, indeed very happy. It was in Navasadhana that the seedling of my vocation was well nurtured. Now, it has grown into a tree. Navasadhana laid a firm foundation, helping me to shape myself well in the next stage of formation, viz, the Novitiate. I had been shy and fearful. I had openly expressed it to my Directors, the regents and my companions. They encouraged me, supported me and gave me opportunities to overcome my fear and shyness. Though they were strangers when I met them first, they soon became my own elder brothers. I cannot forget the love and care of our neighbours. They taught me English and corrected me when I spoke wrongly. Their devotion to and regularity at Mass, the rosary and other spiritual exercises, helped me to grow in my relationship with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and with Mother Mary.
As Navasadhana celebrates its Silver Jubilee, I pray and wish that its “silver” may turn into “gold”, that it may help more and more young men to shape themselves well in the service of God and of their fellow humans.
- By Chethan Kumar SJ