How a Journey of Discovery Led to Vincentians

Milton Lara has been on a journey of discovery. He takes his next step July 30. 

Milton Lara,  along with Noe Garcia. Wilber Mejia, and Jose Alexander Palacios take this step on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in Saint Vincent’s Seminary Community Chapel.

They have completed their college and pre-theology program. Now they move on to our “internal seminary” and reception into the Congregation of the Mission. (Internal seminary is a term preferred by Vincent rather than novitiate because he stressed that we were “secular priests” who live together in community rather than members of a religious order.) At the end of this year, they hope to be ready to take vows in the Congregation of the Mission. (Our formation process)

This is Milton’s story.

Originally from Honduras, Seminarian Milton Lara adopted the strong faith of his grandparents. “When I was eight or nine years old, I liked to read the Bible, in particular the Psalms, the Book of Wisdom, and the Gospels. They inspired me, and I thought a lot about God. I felt His love.”

This awakened in him a desire to become a priest, but Milton was shy about expressing this desire to his parents, and eventually he put it aside. When he was 19, he came to the US and settled in Charlotte, NC. He joined Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Charlotte and immersed himself in the life of the Church. “This reawakened my desire to become a priest,” he said.

A Vincentian priest at the parish suggested Milton look into the Congregation of the Mission. After arriving at Miraculous Medal House in 2013, Milton joined the RCIA program at St. John’s to receive his remaining sacraments. Currently, he distributes Holy Communion to homebound adults in St. John the Baptist Parish in Brooklyn, NY.

“Throughout this journey I see how God continues to call me,” Milton said. “When I was a child, I wanted to be a missionary, but I did not know how to express it. When I was in Charlotte, I met a priest who sent me here. I did not know about the Vincentians, but when I learned about St. Vincent de Paul it all started to come together. I just say, ‘Yes.’ The only way I can answer God is to give my life in service to His people.”

The seminarians enjoy the diversity and multiculturalism they find at St. John’s. “I meet people from all around the world,” Milton stressed, “and I have very good experiences with them.”

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