Our Seminarians > Deacon Giancarlo Tomas Pattugalan
Deacon Giancarlo Tomas Pattugalan
Home Parish: St. Mary Star of the Sea, Far Rockaway
Pastoral Year Parish:
Seminary: Pontifical North American College, Rome
Even if there is only the smallest fraction of a desire to be a priest, do not ignore it. Imagine yourself being a priest and doing priestly tasks (e.g. celebrating the Mass or another one of the sacraments) and ask yourself if you can be happy as a priest. If the answer is "Yes," then this may be your calling.
I have never been able to recall the exact moment when I said "I want to be a priest." I feel as if there was a seed planted in me by the Lord of the Harvest that has been growing in my heart since I was eight, and this seed continues to be nourished in the seminary. When I was eight years old, I met a priest that inspired me by his zealous love for God and his happiness in life. I never knew that a person could be so happy doing what he was doing with his life. All I can say was that I wanted a share in that unique kind of happiness that only God can give.
I began discerning my vocation at Cathedral Preparatory Seminary, the high school seminary for the Diocese of Brooklyn. It was at "the Prep" that I saw the heroism of the priesthood personified through the priests that were assigned there at the time. It was also there where I asked Our Lord if this is the path where He wants me to follow in life.
Upon completion of the high school formation program, I entered Cathedral Seminary Residence of the Immaculate Conception in Douglaston. During my college seminary years at Cathedral Seminary Residence (or "Douglaston" as it is affectionately called), I attended St. John's University earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at with a major in Philosophy. I have been assigned to the Pontifical North American College in Rome to complete my priestly formation.
I want to be a priest in Brooklyn and Queens primarily because I feel God has called me to serve Him as a diocesan priest in the areas where I grew up. The Diocese of Brooklyn is so unique in that you have a melting pot of so many different nationalities. One can experience the many unique cultures and customs of the 1.8 million Catholics that encompass this great diocese.
Take courage and keep on praying. If you feel you may have a vocation, ask Our Lord if this is truly the work He has called you to do. And if you see signs working in your life that seem to be pointing towards this direction, then be honest with yourself and admit that this may very well be what God is asking from you. God will give you the signs if you ask for them and if you are truly open to them. It is a big sacrifice, heroic indeed. But for the many souls that you will be saving as a priest, it can only be worth your entire life.
Even if you were to enter the seminary and find out during your time there that this is not your vocation, you will leave taking with you priceless values that can only help you to be a grounded Christian individual. It can only enhance your ability in being a real husband and a loving father to your children provided that you earnestly take your prayer life and discernment seriously. If that be the case, then there is nothing to lose and everything to gain because you would have given Our Lord.