Vocation story of Jeronimo Flamenco, seminarian, Perth
My name is Jeronimo Flamenco. I come from El Salvador in Central America and have lived for two years at St Charles’ Seminary in Guildford.
I was born in a small rural village in El Salvador and was raised in a family with very strong faith. As a little boy I did not understand why my father prayed the Rosary every morning and every evening together with the family but now I understand and see the principles my parents possessed, which are now, for me, a source of grace in my vocation. In 1992 I started in the Minor seminary in El Salvador. After four years I continued my study of philosophy in the Major seminary; I also studied two years of theology in same seminary. After that I studied civil law for three years in the Catholic University in El Salvador.
When the opportunity arose to come to Australia I discerned that it was God’s will for me. When I think of my vocation I understand that the frontiers of love are more important than the boundaries of one’s own country. This belief has been tested since arriving in Australia, for example, I could not speak English when I arrived two years ago.
Furthermore, my faith has always been stronger in the context of a vibrant Christian community, which I have found to be present here as it was back in El Salvador. However, my life is not mine, but belongs to the Kingdom of God and in service of the Catholic Church and more specifically the Perth Archdiocese.
For me the ministry of the priesthood within the Catholic Church is not about privilege, honour or power but, instead, is a special gift from God calling one to service in the Christian community.
The Catholic Church needs priests who are holy and wise; but not only priests, the Church needs all men and women to be holy.
This holiness must be grounded in the real world; a holiness that is down to earth. It is my belief that the priest, in this present time, must be capable of sharing his experience of God with others, grounded in a deep faith, love and knowledge that is in communion with the Christian community.
Finally, in my journey to the priesthood I have consecrated myself to the Virgin Mary; and every day I ask her to watch over not only me but also my fellow seminarians at St Charles’ Seminary and all the Christian community.