A Jolly and Friendly Seminarian Volunteer.
Sharing the love of Christ.
June 3, 2013 - El Salvador
My name is Kyle Manno. I am 26 years old and I am a seminarian for the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois. I have just completed my third year of seminary and will be entering my fourth year this coming August. Before seminary I studied Music Education at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois. It was there that I found my vocation to the Priesthood and fell in love with the salvation of souls. In short, the more I discovered myself the more I discovered my vocation. I had this deep desire and yearning for God in a unique way. I realized that nothing could truly satisfy my thirst for Christ and his Church except by giving up my life completely for this mission. I truly desire nothing more than to bring people to the truth of Christ and His Holy Mother Church. I want to help others who have this yearning for God in their souls and to help them see that the way to fill that hole is through Christ and His sacraments.
One thing that I need to do in order to help bring this message to others is to lean the Spanish language. It is crucial to bring the truth to others in their own native tongue and it is language that can be the bridge to a person's heart, for if I cannot speak the message then how can it be understood. In light of that truth, I have come to NPH El Salvador in order to study Spanish for seven weeks and to be with the kids. This experience has been amazing so far. I have been diligently working hard to learn the language while at the same time being present to the kids. I can honestly say that the kids here want to truly be loved. As of now, I only have a basic understanding of the Spanish language, and now the kids already want to be near me and get to know me more. They truly have loving hearts and desire to feel the love of another. It reminds me of the passage in the Gospel where Christ tells his disciples that we must become like children in order to enter the Kingdom of God.
I can honestly say that in my time here at NPH I am coming to understand those words more clearly because of the open hearts that the children have here. They are quick to allow me, a stranger, into their lives, which is exactly what Christ calls us to. He wants us to be open to loving everyone no matter who they are or how they communicate. In fact, it is amazing that love can be experienced in such a unique way.
A great example of this was my first time going into the baby house here at NPH. When I walked in the kids immediately came over to me and all of them wanted to hug me. They had no idea who I was or what I was there for, but they just know what it is to love, and that is indeed what I felt. I am praising God for this experience and I hope that I can continue to try to bring the love of Christ to these kids. NPH is such a unique place where children can have a family that is Christ centered.
In my room there is a picture of some of the past kids from NPH at their high school graduation throwing their caps into the air, looks of joy and accomplishment on their faces and it is all because of NPH and the love of Christ. Praise God for such an amazing home for children. I praise God for my time here and I pray that it continues to be blessed.
I already know that I will be sad to depart from here, but I know that these children will have impacted me in so many ways and I hope that I can do the same for them. I will return to school hopefully with a better grasp of the Spanish language as well as a bigger heart and God-willing will be ordained in 2016. I look forward to the day when I can come back to NPH and celebrate a Mass with the kids.