Fr. Nathan Siray
“It’s a dangerous thing Frodo, going out your doorstep. You step out onto the road, and there’s no telling where you may get swept off to!”
Growing up in Millarville, Alberta, one of the lost pieces of Middle Earth, peacefully dwelling in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, I do not ever recall being called to the priesthood. My father Brian is a family doctor, my mother Patricia a school teacher and my three younger brothers Adam, Justin and Matthew companions in good times and bad. And as I grew up, I figured I wanted to one day have a family just like my own, and so my heart was set on being a doctor, husband and father (and then, as a teenager, a professional snowboarder, club dj and history teacher – I thought Vikings were pretty cool in school).
At WYD in Paris in 1997, I remember this event being the first time I really thought about making the Catholic faith my own, to start practicing with more authenticity a Christian life. However, upon returning home, I found myself placing my happiness and priorities elsewhere.
It was not until I had the chance to travel to Nepal in 2001 that I had a reawakening to grow closer to God and the Church. What amazed me in the Buddhist people of the Himalayas was their simplicity of life and dedication to their religion, which was practiced very externally and was an important and natural part of their day to day lives. Upon returning home, I resolved to start learning more about what Catholicism is all about and made the decision to begin university at McGill in Montreal to study history.
It was there that the call came. One day after receiving the Eucharist, I just knew in a moment of clarity and certainty that I was called to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. It was unexpected, terrifying and wonderful, and it just made sense that this is what God created me to be. Eight years of seminary later, I can say with confidence that I love being a priest! You step out the door each day into whatever dangers may be awaiting you, yet confident that wherever I am being swept off to, Jesus and Mary will be with me.