By Becky May
As two young men, Patrick Nacanaynay and Kevin Santander, prepare to enter the pre-novitiate program in Buffalo, NY. Fr. Harold Fisher, OMI hosted a prayer service for them this past Sunday co-hosted by the local Oblate Associates at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois.
Kevin Santander grew up in St. Louis and attended Gateway Institute of Technology. He was a member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Florissant, MO. Santander met the Oblates through his prayer group that moved to The Church of Our Lady of the Snows. “What drew me to the Oblates was the charism and their mission to help the poor.” In particular, Fr. Rufino Nava grabbed Santander’s attention. “He attracted so many people and was an awesome preacher. It really inspired me to consider a religious life.” However, it was a life-threatening tumor that made religious life a definite choice for Santander. Santander had severe headaches growing up and was diagnosed with migraines. When his medicine was not working, he went to a doctor who informed him that he had a brain tumor. “God put everything into place. He was there for me in the hospital and through every surgery.” Three surgeries later and Santander looked more into Oblate vocations. Santander hopes to become a brother so he can help people through ministry.
The other prenovice that will be heading to Buffalo is Patrick Nacanaynay. A self-described, “army brat,” Nacanaynay grew up traveling all over. He was born in London and moved to the United States when he was nine. Regardless where his family lived, they were very involved in their church. Nacanaynay has two younger sisters, one is entering her senior year of high school and the other is going into 4th grade. “Once I told my family I was pursuing a religious life, they were excited.” Before he considered a religious life, he attended Saint Louis University and studied computer science. It was Fr. Harold Fisher that caught Nacanaynay’s attention and invited him to discern. Nacanaynay has visited the Pre-Novitiate in Buffalo, NY before and says he was drawn to the community life of the Oblates and service to the poor. In his spare time he enjoys reading and singing.
Both of the young men leave for Buffalo, NY August 18.
The pre-novitiate program is the first step in the process of addressing their religious vocations. In the program the young men will encounter Oblate community life, prayer and studies.