By: Gareth Kieck

Recently there was an article by Father Charles called ´Why be a priest?´. This question is something that many young people might ask. For example, when I have thought about vocations and whether I am called to dive into priesthood, these were the first thoughts that popped into my mind – I would be staying alone in a house, celebrating daily Mass, maybe doing a little gardening… Yes, this lifestyle is beautiful, but imagining living this out did not appeal to a jovial young person like me, who likes a good old boogie every now and then!

But last year, all of these thoughts were thrown out the car window when we took a trip to visit a little Polish order of priests. St. John the Baptist’s Order is situated in the middle of nowhere, so we had to spend some hours driving through the thick mist. Due to these conditions, we ended up driving into two beautiful cows. We hit both of them, the car was damaged and could not go any further and we were only 30 minutes away from our destination.

Yet this, surprisingly, did not stress us because we had just finished praying the Rosary and Divine Mercy so we were so full of peace and joy. I think this set the scene for a Spirit-filled weekend. When we arrived, we were met by Father Michael and Brother Micheles. They were so welcoming and joyful; it felt like we had known them for years.

Wow, it is hard to describe the joy and peace of this order, but I will continue! That Saturday, we started off the day with some epic praise and worship with the brothers and sisters to thank God for the day. It was such a simple yet awesome session. We all stood around a table in our own space and we started to jam in our unique ways. This was so heavenly. There was a sister who sang in tongues, but what was beautiful was that she was not doing it to try draw attention to herself. Her joy was just so tangible that no words could describe it and so she started expressing herself in this other dimension.   It was awesome praying separately, but on the same note all together. This set the tone for another amazing day!

The biggest lesson I learnt that weekend is that there is something so cool about serving each other, so there was never a moment to feel grumpy.   This was highlighted when brother Micheles asked if Bevin, he and I could all move this heavy cave structure. What makes it funny was that when he said ´we´, he meant Bevin and I while he watched. We joked about it but then we realised that he had to carry it by himself the next day, so he was forgiven. It was so awesome and fun to do these service tasks. They taught me that you can become a saint through the simple day-to-day things if you just do it with love in your heart for your brothers and sisters.

Then came the amazing Vigil service! This was so epic! Okay, when you think of a Catholic Church, do you think of a priest breaking it down? Yes! I just said the priest was jamming – like Gangnam Style jamming! Do you think of a congregation so filled with love and joy that they cannot contain themselves and so they dance and sing at every chance in the Mass? Yes, that was what we experienced and much more! The key thing here, though, was that this joy and life was not misplaced in the service. It was experienced when we remembered the amazing miracle and sacrifice our Lord made for you and I. I remember walking in after the Gospel reading (back in to the church as there was a little skit outside) and as we entered, the whole church was buzzing with song and dance because Jesus was not in the cave; He had risen! We jammed for at least 5 minutes and that’s when Father Michael showed the whole congregation his dance moves…

This experience of staying with them longer was one we thought we were not meant to have because we were (according to our plans) meant to drive back on the Saturday, but did not because of our meeting those two cow friends. In the end this refreshed us all with such love and joy! The Spirit was so present, working through this Polish order in the bush. It’s an order that is focussed on our Lord and the life he gives us. The joy we were given by the Spirit that weekend is something that all human beings long for, and although that little arbitrary place in the sticks might be the last place people would travel to in order to receive joy, I am so blessed to have met that community because I walked away with so much more than when I had arrived.

That weekend made me see the vocation to priesthood in a completely different light. As young people, we need to be open to our plans changing, open to serving each other and open to the different ways people live out God´s love – and maybe, joy will be the result.


About the AuthorGareth ppic

Gareth Kieck

People call me high but don’t worry that all comes from the man upstairs.  I love young people and especially working with my brothers and sisters that live humble lives on the streets.  I am currently studying at the university of Cape Town away from home surf town Warner Beach in Durban.  My mission is to let everyone know that they are beautiful and that love will always bring them home (: