WYD renews SCJ seminarian’s commitment to vocationAug 9th, 2016 | By Sacred Heart | Category: Feature Stories
“Today I said Yes once again to God!”
Frater Juan Carlos (“Juancho”) Castañeda Rojas was one of several members of the US Province who accompanied a youth group from Our Lady of Guadalupe, Houston, to World Youth Day in Poland. The experience of being with SCJs from around the world was especially significant to him since the trip took place just before he was to renew his vows with the community.
“Today I said Yes once again to God!” wrote Frater Juancho. “Renewed by my participation in World Youth Day and the message of Pope Francis to all of us to ‘not be afraid to say yes to Him,’ I renewed my vows as a member of the congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. I do so with the strongest conviction that it is rewarding and amazing to say YES to God! Truly, I believe that I have been called to be a servant of love and prophet of reconciliation following Fr. Dehon teachings.”
Reflecting on WYD
About World Youth Day itself, Frater Junacho wrote the following:
They really practice sheltering the homeless and feeding the hungry because, believe me, there was always good food waiting for us when we were there. It was clear that our presence in their country meant a lot to the people of Poland because they were so nice and welcoming to us. This was obvious during our many long walks when people greeted us warmly and offered us water to drink so that we could continue with our journey.
That was another work of mercy that was clearly practiced, giving drink to the thirsty.
During our pilgrimage, I was able to better understand the worldwide presence of the Priests of the Sacred Heart by seeing how our spirituality lives in the hearts of so many young people. It gave me a new powerful feeling to see the impact that we, as Dehonians, have. It was also a confirmation just before my renewal of vows that when I said YES to God as a member of the congregation it was the best decision that I ever made.
This pilgrimage experience was life-changing for me. I will keep all these memories in my heart as a reminder that saying yes to God is worthy, that saying yes to God is incredibly rewarding, and that saying yes to God and living my vocation as an SCJ is an incredible experience that gives joy to my life.