Fr. Ed Shikina

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  • What were some of the challenges you faced while discerning your call to the priesthood, and what gave you the strength/courage to overcome them?
    • One challenge I had before seminary was not taking enough concrete steps to move forward. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be a priest but I did not enter the seminary to properly discern it. As a result, it was just something that remained in the back of my mind like a thorn in the flesh. Another challenge was that once I was in seminary, I worried that I could be ordained as a priest without actually being called to be a priest, and, therefore, that I would be unhappy as a priest. I wanted a clear sign from God telling me if I was called to the priesthood or not, but I wasn’t getting it. One day I realized that God wanted me to be as much a part of the decision as He was. When I realized that I also had a say in it, I decided for myself that I would become a priest and then I was at peace going forward after that. In the process, I also continued with a strong prayer life, doing holy hours every day which would often give me peace that I was doing the right thing. I also would see small signs throughout confirming for me that it was good to continue the path to the priesthood. 
  •  How would you describe your experience in the seminary? 
    • My seminary experience was challenging at the Josephinum in that I was an older man living with younger men, some in their early 20s. Relatability was a factor. But then when I went to Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary with older men, I was able to relate better to my fellow seminarians and felt more comfortable. I really enjoyed that seminary. But both seminaries formed me well to become a good and holy priest. 
  • What has been the best thing about being a priest? 
    • The best thing about being a priest is celebrating the Sacraments and bringing people to an encounter with God. It is also joyful knowing that I am doing what God has called me to do. I also enjoy being with the people and bringing them joy. 
  •  What does being a priest mean to you? 
    • Being a priest means helping people to be holy through a very particular vocation. It means having a great responsibility for the salvation of souls, yet finding joy in doing this very particular work. I still marvel after a year and a half that God has given me this great gift of being a priest and having that power to effect a positive change in people’s lives for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. I even smile often while saying Mass. 




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