In the winter of 1999 three people in a row told me to think about the priesthood. It was the nun who organized the readers and eucharistic ministers in my parish. Then it was a permanent deacon I met on retreat. Finally it was an old friend on the phone.
Thinking that it might be the Spirit speaking, I went up to the seminary of my home diocese for an interview. I arrived early, as I often do, and so I went to their chapel to pray. I prayed that whatever should happen in the interview, it would help me discern my path.
The interview went poorly; we were just speaking different languages. It was clear to me that the vocation director didn't see me as a diocesan seminarian.
I was confident that my prayer would be answered, however, so when I got home I was reflecting on what this interview might have meant. Pacing around my apartment, I picked up the writings of Francis and read the first paragraph of his Testament:
The Lord gave to me, brother Francis, to begin to do penance: for when I was in sin it seemed bitter for me to see lepers. And the Lord himself led me among them, and I had mercy on them. And returning from them, that which had seemed bitter was changed into sweetness of soul and body; and after that I stood for a little while and then left the world.
At that moment I knew that I was a Franciscan at heart.