Lonely Future Priests? Not This Young Man


Mac sharing God's word in one of the "Barrio Masses"

Some might think seminary life is a life of isolation. 

But not for Seminarian Mac Lander N. Abel.

“Seminary life is never lonely!” he exclaims. 

“It is not a place or a life of sadness or being alone. But it is a life of joy, a life of meeting God intimately, a life of service, a life of little by little giving and surrendering everything to God,” Mac adds.

God’s plan unfolded

Mac is the eldest child in the family.

His grandmother would always go to their house to celebrate his birthdays.

But the first thing she would always do was to accompany him to church.

He then realized that it was her way of always offering her grandson to God for whatever purposes He would have for him.

These little offerings seemed to have a great effect.

Finding life’s purpose

When Mac was in high school, he would always find himself asking this question: “What is the purpose of my life?”

His prayers would eventually lead him to the answers he was seeking.

“A special event happened when the school was invited to attend a vocation campaign in the seminary. I feel so at home when I am there. It’s like I meant to be there,” Mac shares.

Oddly, he found himself so eager to take the seminary entrance examination.

Soon after, Mac received the exam results: he passed.

He eventually entered the seminary.

He had found his purpose. 

‘I can do all things through Christ’

The journey is fulfilling but not always easy.

There will always be struggles.

Mac recalls: “We don’t have so many things in life. We don’t [have] big salaries in the family because my parents don’t have stable jobs. Thus, it is always a struggle for me and mostly for my family as to how will we get money to support me in my formation in the seminary.”

But during those challenging times, the future priest would remind himself of his favorite Bible verse from Philippians, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Part of the ANCOP family

When Mac decided to continue his theological formation, he entrusted everything to the Lord, as he would always do. 

His formators knew his family’s situation, so when they asked Mac if he wanted to apply for an ANCOP scholarship, he said yes right away.

“I applied and prayed for it. And through the grace and mercy of God, I was accepted to be part of this family,” Mac shares.

His being a scholar has taught him many things.

It has truly changed his life.

Mac explains: “I am truly thankful to all people that are part of this foundation because they allowed me to continue my studies and formation. They allowed me to continue my dream to be a priest and serve other people and God. It also helps my family. Now, they are calmer because there are many people out there who are ready to help and support me in my vocation.”

Mac is currently a seminarian serving in the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro.

He is already in his seventh year of seminary formation.

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