Growing up in the Catholic church, I always found it so interesting how the priests had given up so much of their life just for the church. To me, it was so odd to think that one would be willing to sacrifice it all in the name of God. But as I began to grow in my faith, I met individuals that without even asking, had the answers to these questions. One of them being a religion teacher in high school. This man was so spiritual, yet so human at the same time. He was easy to joke with and also a great person to turn to in a time of need. His name is Mario DeArmas and to this day he is one of the kindest, humble, and most faithful person I have had an encounter with. But the most interesting fact about him has to be how he was so close to becoming a priest, but ultimately did not. Recently, I sat down with him to ask him what happened, why he made the decision, and how feels about his decision.
Why did you first want to become a priest?
“I was attracted by the connection I would establish with others, the prospect of witnessing their growth and guiding them towards healing. And I really enjoyed the sacramental life of the church, for example, mass and confession.”
What was the best part of the seminary?
“The high-quality education and comradery with my classmates were great parts of being in the seminary.”
What was the worst part of the seminary?
“The most difficult aspect entailed moments of loneliness.”
What ultimately made you chose to leave?
“I chose to leave because, despite the many fulfilling aspects associated with the priesthood, I longed to have a family of my own. I realized that I was not altogether fulfilled.”
Are you happy that you left the seminary?
“Leaving was very difficult, but my subsequent discernment and ultimate decision to serve God in a different capacity brought about enduring peace.”