I COULDN’T STOP SMILING: Story Of My Pallottine Vocation – Jaimie Twohig sac

Jaimie with his Mam Clodagh @ the IEC Pallottine StandMy name is Jaimie and here is my story of how I came to join the Pallottines. I’m an only child. I grew up in county Limerick and moved to Cork when I was ten. I always went to Mass but faith was never a big part of my life. In my teenage years I became very unhappy in myself. I had everything someone my age would want but still felt unhappy. I tried to fill this void for happiness with the wrong things and just ended up feeling more empty.But unknown to me at the time, God was at work. My Mam went to Medugorje in 2004 and when she got back I could see a real change in her. She seemed very happy and content. So she was all for going back the following year and she asked me to go. I said I would and thought no more about it. My thinking was that if anything it would be a week off school.

I went to Medugorje the following year and I can honestly say the experience turned my life upsidown. I always knew about Our Lady growing up but in Medugorje I came to know how much she loves me and is a Mother to me despite my weakness and sinfulness. When I came home from Medugorje I saw life with new eyes. I couldn’t stop smiling. It wasn’t an instant conversion, but in Medugorje I was given a glimpse of Gods love for me and I wasn’t going to let it go.

In 2007 my adopted father died tragically. There are no words to describe the sadness of a death like this. It is like an atomic bomb went off in our lives; what once looked normal was just torn apart. This time was difficult beyond words for my Mam and me. It was in this time that I came to really know Jesus. Like the psalm says ‘out of the depths I cry to You, oh Lord, hear my voice’ and He did. I can honestly say that in the brokenness and sorrow of that dark time Jesus was so present, and He carried me through it. The scars of this experience of loss are still with me to this day and I’m glad they are because through these scars I can empathise with others who are suffering. These scars also serve as a reminder of how I experienced Gods love in my brokenness.

Shortvignet-300x296ly after this I became involved with groups like youth 2000 and I came to learn more about the Catholic Faith. I fell in love with the truths of the Catholic faith and I just wanted to learn more and more. The more I learned about the faith, the more the teachings of the Church really made sense and seemed to be so life giving, especially the Eucharist. It was also great to meet people my own age that I could talk to about God and feel completely comfortable. It was around this time that I started to think about the Priesthood. I remember seeing the different Priests at Youth 2000 and things and just seeing how much they loved their Priesthood was inspiring. I was staring to feel a call from within.

It took me a long time to actually pluck up the courage to do something about this call I was feeling. I was like the rich young man in the Gospel. I wanted to follow Jesus but didn’t want to let go of my life. I took the first step by going on a some vocation weekends in different places.  In early 2009 I went on a vocations weekend to the Pallottine Fathers in Thurles. I had been to the Pallottines in Thurles many times before but this time I felt a great peace and I knew within myself that this was where the Lord was calling me.

imageI now have 5 years done with the Pallottines and when I look back I can honestly say that  they have been 5 very happy years, not without their struggles either. What makes this way of life a happy life is having a personal relationship with Jesus. Coming to know His love all the more everyday, and giving His love away makes life very happy. I had grown to love the Priesthood in my late teens and I have grown to love the Pallottines over the last few years so the thought of giving my life to God completely to be a Pallottine Priest is very exciting. There are still struggles and bad days by times but I know that Jesus is with me in all this and by focusing on Him I can get through anything. “The love of Christ urges us on”.