SEVEN years ago, Stefan Matuszek had his life mapped out with plans including meeting his dream girl, starting a family and studying to become an engineer.
Obviously God had other ideas because on the evening of Thursday, February 12, in Lismore’s St Carthage’s Cathedral, Stefan will be ordained into the diaconate, a continuing step in his decision to become a priest.
“For some the sense of vocation comes slowly and gradually, for others more quickly,” the seminarian from Vianney College, Wagga Wagga, said.
His sense of vocation hit “like a semi-trailer”.
“I was just doing what I normally did; minding my own business, and it hit me,” Stefan said.
“The first day I thought I was a bit mad and tried ignoring it, but over a few days the sense grew so strong that I called a priest whose number had somehow made its way into my phone.
“I had no idea what else to do; I was pretty ignorant of basically everything concerning the priesthood.
“But he was very good, he helped answer questions I had, and even the questions that I didn’t yet know to ask.
“He also suggested that I should start by telling my parents.
“It took me a few weeks to summon up the courage, although they had never put any pressure on me in regards to my future.”
What the young man, who’d grown up with eight siblings in a good Catholic family, discovered staggered him.
“Up until then I had never realised how much my parents had been hoping for one of their sons to become a priest,” he said.
Stefan’s six years of study have also included working in various pastoral areas of care and concern for others.
He undertook pastoral placements in primary and secondary schools, nursing homes, soup kitchens, hospitals, Wagga Wagga juvenile prison, six parishes in Lismore diocese, World Youth Days in Sydney and Madrid, pilgrimage and missionary work in Vietnam, and much more.
As he looks forward to his ordination, Stefan sums up the waiting experience in these words: “I don’t imagine the priesthood to be an easy life, but if God is calling me to it He will help me to live it.
“Serving God and His people is its own reward.
“Please pray for me that I will always answer God’s call to serve.”
Article courtesy of Lismore diocese’s website www.lismorediocese.org