My name is Reynaldo Tano. I am a Filipino, Ilocano, and Catholic. I had a very simple childhood. I grew up in a typical farming family with my four siblings. We have so much love for our parents. They taught us about the meaning of life, the value of respecting others, the importance of family and, above all, the importance of being grateful to God for all his blessings.
At the age of sixteen, I was led to enter a Franciscan Seminary and I ended up studying theology and philosophy. I thought it was a mistake at the beginning. However, as the years went by, I recognised the Lord’s hand leading me and guiding me towards a plan known to Him which would eventually be revealed to me. After four years, the seed of priestly vocation slowly grew within me. It led me to a determination to continue towards priesthood.
Yet God was equally determined to intervene a second time. He wanted me to experience life outside the four walls of the seminary. I left the seminary and lived a lay life. It had been difficult for me at the beginning; nevertheless, I needed to follow where the Lord was leading me. For two years I worked in a bank. At the end of those years, however, I found myself discontented and dissatisfied. I sensed that there was something more to life than what my job could provide. I decided to leave my job at the bank to look after orphaned children in a non-governmental facility.
My job in the orphanage brought so much joy to my life. At last I felt satisfied. The Lord of heaven and earth, however, decided to intervene again. I felt the strong call to enter a missionary congregation of priests and brothers—the Missionaries of God’s Love (MGL)—and become a priest. There was a catch, though! This congregation was, and still is, based in Australia. I was afraid, for that new leg of the journey would mean that I would have to begin all over again. It was a bigger, scarier task! Yet I felt that I needed to give it a go. I knew I had nothing else to do but to trust and follow God’s plan.
Throughout the course of my six years in the Missionaries, God has intervened over and over again, not in terms of asking me to go someplace else but in terms of empowering me to continue with this vocation. On 5 August2013, I will be professing my final vows to God of poverty, chastity and obedience. On 13 September 2013, I will be ordained as a Deacon for the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. Next year, I will be ordained as a priest in the parish of the Missionaries of God’s Love in Manila (St. Benedict’s Parish, Don Antonio Heights, Quezon City).
At present, I am happy and content with where I am. The Lord will surely intervene again somewhere along the journey, yet I know that it will only be for the best. The Lord has led me faithfully thus far and I know I need not be afraid. I trust him more now than I trust myself! Praise the Lord!
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