Alan McNamara shares his vocation journey
When did you start thinking about priesthood?
I started thinking about priesthood when I was in active duty in the Defence Forces while serving in Collins Barracks, Cork. That was in 2019 in which the call became very strong from within my heart.
What helped you to make the decision?
The priest in work helped me with my discernment and I received good spiritual direction from another priest in the diocese but overall the discernment group really helped in regards to focusing my mind on taking the next step to go on propaedeutic year in Spain. The discernment group was an exciting time to journey with other men and the diocese.
How was your year in propaedeutic seminary?
The propaedeutic year was a good year to build a solid foundation for the next step of my discernment. It was a year of reflection, prayer, travel and working on building the four pillars of priesthood which are the human, spiritual, pastoral, and intellectual needs of priesthood, all done in a lovely community setting of St Albans English College in Valladolid, Spain.
You are now in Maynooth Seminary. How has this experience been so far?
The seminary in Maynooth has been a wonderful experience of a prayerful community of men from Ireland, Nigeria, Slovakia, Uganda, all engaged in studies of philosophy and theology. Also, we engage in other activities like soccer and running which happens on the North campus, and has a full size soccer pitch, gymnasium, for those with interest in keeping fit. My experience in Maynooth has been positive and that’s partly down to the formation staff who have been very supportive and welcoming.