Father Erik Mediavillo is our Asia-Pacific vocations director for men who are discerning vocations to the priesthood or the religious life. He is currrently the assistant pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in the Archdiocese of Caceres in the Philippines. His email email@example.com.
Meet Fr. Erik…
When I was a child I never dreamed of becoming a priest. I remember during my childhood days wearing my father’s police uniform. Even now I still have the wooden toy gun that I used to play with back in elementary school. I was a stubborn kid and my parents found it hard to discipline me. Most of the time I was corrected by my father in an attempt to make me a better person.
I grew up in an ordinary family that did not experience a lack of money. As early as seven years old, I started to earn money by cleaning cars, selling food, collecting scrap metals, handicrafts, etc. I did this to have enough allowance for my schooling. Looking at myself then, no one would believe that I would become a priest someday.
I can say my elementary years were quite sad. But it changed when I reached the age of fourteen and everything turned into joy. I was converted and realized I was already being called by God. I joined the Neo Community and underwent formation. I started to share my experiences and insights during group sharing sessions. I became an instrument to bring the word of God to my family. I joined the altar servers and became active in parish activities. From there, I started to realize the value of the Mass and the joy of serving in the altar. Even wearing the sacred garments of the priest became my dream. After Sunday Mass, instead of wearing my father’s police uniform as I did before, now I prepared a table and used my towel as stole and acted as if I were celebrating Mass. When graduation was getting nearer, I never thought of any course of action except entering the seminary.
My first year in the diocesan seminary was not as easy as I thought it would be. I experienced a different atmosphere than when I experienced when studying in the secular world. Due to the fact that I was not prepared to face the demands of a rigorous academic life, I was not recommended to continue. I decided to leave seminary and to continue my studies but God had other plans. Three days before the SOLT Aspirancy was scheduled to begin, I met a SOLT seminarian at a birthday party. He told me that if I was still interested in going to the seminary that I should go to the SOLT Regionalate in Putiao and take the entrance exam. To make a long story short, this marked the beginning of my missionary life as a SOLT seminarian. He told me if I am still interested to enter the seminary, I can go to the SOLT Regionalate in Putiao and take the entrance exam. To make the story short, there begins my missionary life as a SOLT seminarian.
The years that I spent studying Philosophy and Theology in seminary were the most unforgettable years of my life! I really enjoyed my stay in the seminary more than any joy the world could offer. Towards the end of my time in seminary, as we were preparing for perpetual profession and ordination to the diaconate, an unexpected storm shook my vocation. My sister was diagnosed with Leukemia. I had thought becoming a priest would be so easy, but the reality is we all have to walk the path of Christ to Calvary. Facing this trial, I decided to continue towards ordination and to surrender my sister to whatever the Lord willed. During my diaconate ordination, as I was laying prostrate before the altar, my sister was laying in a hospital bed fighting a battle with cancer. As I offered myself to God during the ordination, she was offering her life to God as well. Immediately following my ordination, I went to the hospital. I knew that even though my sister could not be at the ordination Mass, she was with my in spirit and that she was proud of me. The following day, as I woke up from sleeping, she was already rested. That was my first time I gave a diaconal blessing to my only beloved sister. Even until now, she is my strength in my vocation, and I promised her that I would take good care and protect my vocation.