For two decades Patrick Rubi has been following a certain path. “I have an internship, I’m doing campus ministry at two different campuses, I have classes,” Patrick lists.
He was a junior studying history at Hunter College until he recently decided he’s dropping out of school for a higher calling.
“I encountered the Lord like tugging and nudging at my heart. Encouraging and like mentioning this vocation, to the seminary, and to discern the priesthood,” Patrick says.
The Saint Gabriel’s parishioner admits he fought those feelings for a while, thinking that he was meant to have a different life. “A big fight between like what I wanted which was a family and what he wants, which is something a little different,” Patrick explains.
He didn’t feel a personal connection to Christ until high school and his vocational call started in college. He recounts, “It was about a year ago that I could say concretely, I encountered the Lord like tugging and nudging at my heart.
But that tug turned into a pull when Patrick attended World Youth Day in Portugal. “After a year of no, after months and months of saying no and turning my back. I was like okay, let’s say let’s say a little yes,” he explains.
Patrick is dropping out of Hunter and saying goodbye to his friends and family. He will be heading to Italy to continue his discernment journey. “I’ve lived with my family and parents my whole life, and to move away from that, to stop that will be very difficult I’m sure.”
His pastor, Father Nicholas Apollonio, is encouraging him along the way, knowing young people across the country are wrestling over whether to answer their call. “It’s a big struggle for vocations,” Father Nicholas says, “as society is becoming more and more secularized, going away from God. ”
But as someone who walked a similar path, Father Nicholas thinks the road ahead is bright.
“I think if God called him, I think he won the lottery.”