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God´s Plans and the Unexpected Path
INTERNATIONAL | WHO WE ARE | TESTIMONIES
Vocational testimony of Fr. Oscar Capilla LC

Vocational testimony of the Fr. Oscar Capilla LC
Fr. Oscar Capilla LC

*Translation of the Spanish original text

Like many boys, I remember always dreaming during my childhood and youth. I dreamed of being a doctor, becoming a basketball player, marrying a beautiful woman, and forming a good family; I also dreamed of singing as well as Elvis Presley, wearing his hairstyle, and attracting crowds…

God’s moment came in my 6th grade year. My family is my parents, an older brother, and a little sister. Ever since my parents married, they wanted us to have a very good education, even though this would cost them the sacrifice not only of money, but also of seeing that the children could not appreciate its true value. And so my father decided that my brother and I would start our studies in the Jesuit school in the city of León, in Spain.

My childhood unfolded in activities of all kinds: boy scouts, friends, etc. In general, during those times the moral atmosphere was fairly healthy. Already at the start of high school, I started to cross the line between being a good, responsible person and just getting by with a minimum effort. Little by little, I started leaving aside virtuous attitudes. And it was in this context that the first moment of God came.

A New Idea of the Priesthood
A Legionary priest had come to our school to talk to us about a school for young men in a city to the north of Spain called Ontaneda. At the end of the talk, he invited those of us who were interested to come visit it. A group of friends and I were interested because it sounded like an adventure. However, the dates of the meeting fell on the day of my birthday, so we decided to stay instead for the celebrations. So, 1988 went
Vocational testimony of the Fr. Oscar Capilla LC
by in a rather normal way. At the end, I managed to pass all of the exams at the last minute, and thus I had the summer free to enjoy myself with my parents’ blessing. Since I had been involved in the boy scouts all these years, I had the idea of spending at least part of the summer in these activities. There was one that caught my notice in the Gredos mountains, but since my older brother was going there, I decided to choose another option. This other option presented itself through the possibility of going to a summer convention run by the Legionaries of Christ in Ontaneda, Cantabria. The idea was very attractive to me, so when my mother offered me the option, I accepted it with pleasure.

The only conversation that had ever come up in my house about the priesthood was when my brother was 12 years old and a Jesuit priest gave him materials and books on the topic. As a prankster of a kid, I told my brother that he’d better not think about that, because if he became a priest, he wouldn’t be able to get married. The idea of the priesthood held no attraction for me.

It was in these circumstances that I visited Ontaneda… and I began to see everything in a different way. While speaking there with one of the boys in the summer convention, I suddenly found that we were talking about our vocational discernment. After some weeks in this atmosphere that was so different and so welcoming, we decided to tell each other that maybe it was a good idea to be priests, and the idea of being like those priests began to look like an appealing ideal to us.

At the end of the summer, my parents came to visit me and I gave them the news. At first, they thought it was a passing phase of enthusiasm, but for some reason I felt in my interior that this would take me further than what I thought, and that both I and my family, by some mysterious plan of God, would set out on this journey through my call to the Legion of Christ. I spent four years in the minor seminary.

An Unexpected Twist in the Road
At the start of my fourth year, however, my father, with whom I had always had a very special relationship, passed away. From that moment on, I felt deep emptiness inside, because truly he was someone with whom I had formed a very deep and sincere friendship. This was an important element that God had used throughout my preparation for the priesthood. At the end of the year, the situation got more complicated, since it isn’t easy for a family when a young father dies. He was only 45. Because of this circumstance, I did not go directly to the novitiate with my companions, but returned to the Jesuit school to finish my high school degree. 

This year was full of contrasts. Life in the seminary is pretty different from the life of an average young man. Some of the people who had been my friends were now heading in a direction that neither interested nor attracted me. And in this secularizing atmosphere, I also let myself go a little. Nevertheless, this was the way God chose to draw me closer to him, little by little.

Shortly after starting the school year, I met a young man who invited me to a Regnum Christi retreat, and I decided to live a more personal commitment to my Christian life by becoming part of this movement. Shortly after, I found—or rather, was found by—Father Alfonso Oriol, LC who supported me from then on with spiritual direction. He suggested that I start the novitiate once I had finished my studies at the end of that year. I thought it was still too early, but God’s plans were different.

Finding My Call
Along the way, I was offered the chance to work as a monitor in the summer course at Oaklawn Academy in Wisconsin, in the U.S. The idea seemed good to me; it was a good opportunity to take advantage of the summer. As part of my preparation, I was supposed to go to a convention in the novitiate of the Legionaries of Christ in Cheshire, Connecticut. Shortly after I signed up, I was informed that the academy had fewer students than expected and that there was no longer a need for as many monitors. God has a good sense of humor, doesn’t he? With everything all arranged, I accepted the invitation to spend a few weeks in the Cheshire novitiate. I thought it would be a good experience, and I certainly still felt some affection for the Legion.

Two weeks into my stay in Cheshire had already gone by and I still didn’t know what decision to make, but at the same time, I strongly felt the need to start a serious discernment process. With the help of my spiritual director and with the support of Fr Alfonso Oriol, LC from Spain, I saw that God wanted me to have the happiness I had experienced upon finding him, and that I could share this happiness with others. I pray to God that through my priesthood, he will help my intimate friendship with Christ to grow in me and, God willing, in all of those with whom I will be in contact.

Father Óscar Capilla was born on December 7, 1976 in the city of León, Spain. He was baptized on January 9, 1977, on the feast of the Lord’s baptism. He studied in the Sacred Heart School of the Jesuits, in León and entered the minor seminary of the Legion of Christ in Ontaneda on July 16, 1988. From 1990 onward, he continued his studies in Moncada. In 1993, he entered the novitiate in Cheshire, in the U.S. He made his first profession on September 2nd, 1995 and made his perpetual vows on October 17, 2001.

 

This testimony is part of the book “Ven y sígueme” (Come and Follow me). In January 2008 you can buy it at www.misionmultimedia.org. It contains 48 testimonies in Spanish, 11 in English and 1 in German.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2007-12-21


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