MOSAIC Spring 2017 | Page 19

“ Show Me or I ’ m Out !”
Marcus Schonnop , 28 Companions of the Cross Second-year Theology
Tim Fuller / TimFullerPhotography . com

“ Show Me or I ’ m Out !”

I entered the Catholic Church on April 3 , 2010 . I was baptized , confirmed , and received First Communion during the Easter Vigil .

I come from a wonderful family , and I grew up on the west coast of Canada . Yet , I never knew or heard about God or Christianity in a positive way until I was in university and I moved in with a Catholic roommate . Up to that point , I considered myself an agnostic bordering on atheism .
The roommate was a seemingly normal guy , but to my shock he was on fire with a love for God . He quickly dismantled my false notions of Christians and I found myself intrigued and at the same time confused by the Catholic faith . I began a three-year process of asking the tough questions while examining what I really believed .
Near the end of those three years , I attended a conference for Catholic university students . To be honest , I didn ’ t want to go . But someone paid for me , saying the conference would change my life . I accepted the money and went skeptically . One evening during the conference , there was a night of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament . It was during that night that I gave the Lord the ultimatum : “ God , if you are real you need to show me , or I am out . You had your chance !”
Instantly , the Lord responded in power and I felt waves of joy , love , peace , and warmth throughout my entire body . I was baptized in the Holy Spirit before ever being baptized . I instantly knew that God was real , that Jesus died for my sins , and he had a definite plan for my life . It was as though the lights came on . Jesus brought my heart to life .
I knew I had to become Catholic and so I went through RCIA that year . My whole perspective on life changed . I no longer wanted to pursue a career in forestry , which is what I studied during university . I decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life serving God .
I signed up as a missionary with NET Ministries of Canada for a year ( netcanada . ca ), and I fell in love with sharing the faith and seeing others encounter God . After the year was over , I started to discern the priesthood . While initially I was terrified , I began to find a great peace and love at the thought of being a priest . I first looked into diocesan priesthood but soon felt the Lord calling me to discern religious communities .
That is when I discovered the Companions of the Cross . After many visits , I was accepted by the community in 2012 and began my studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary .
I encountered the Lord and his immense love as a result of my roommate who dared to share his faith with me . Because of him , I was able to receive the faith and pass it on to my parents , who themselves became Catholic in 2012 .
The Lord has convicted me to spend the rest of my life evangelizing . He has called me by name , and he is calling me to be a priest after his own heart , a priest within the Companions of the Cross .
shms . edu 17