2021-05-06 08:00:36

A Heart Burning with Love for Mary

Maurice Sunde Afor, Theology III, St. Mary’s Seminary

Moving from Cameroon to the United States in 2016 was the most unpredictable part of my vocation journey. Leaving home, family, and friends was challenging because I did not know what to expect. It brought about a sense of fear. While in the United States, some of the concerns started to leave me as I experienced the hospitality of the seminarians who welcomed me into St. Mary’s Seminary. 

I had no friends and family; however, I found a home away from home. One thing that grasped my attention at St. Mary’s was the Statue of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom. 

Mary is the mother of priests and seminarians, and mother of all Christians. I decided to stay close to her because I trusted that everything would be alright with her. She has been my model throughout my formation, both in sound and challenging times. She is my source of strength and consolation. 

Mary has been a mother and a model for me to this point in my vocation, and she will continue to be. She has taught me true humility, trust, and faithfulness to God. I have learned from her the centrality of obedience in my journey to the priesthood. She who obeyed the words of the angel even without knowing what they meant inspires me to be attentive to the call of God. Her ability to listen and follow the words of God draw me into that journey of faith. To draw close to Mary, I have tried to maintain a relationship with her as a mother and model of prayer. 

Praying the rosary every day has been an excellent opportunity to spend time with the Lord and with his mother, Mary.  I love to pray the rosary daily, but it does not always work the way l would have loved. Even though finding that 20 minutes to reconnect with the Lord and his mother daily has been challenging, I try to at the very least rise up with a Hail Mary and go to bed with another. Praying the rosary helps me contemplate the life of Jesus Christ, the High priest, whose priesthood I want to participate in.  

Mary’s life and her role in the life and ministry of the church reminds me of the demanding task of the ministers of the Gospel. As I prepare to start my ministry as a deacon soon, I will continue to invoke her intercessory role in my life and ministry. I trust that she will be with me to the end as she was with her son even to the foot of the cross. 

May she intercede for all discerning a vocation.

Maurice Sunde Afor is in Third Theology at Saint Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore,
Maryland. Maurice is from Nkambe, Cameroon in the Diocese of Kumbo. Please God, Maurice
will be ordained to the diaconate in May of this year and to the priesthood in Summer 2022.
Please pray for Maurice!

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