New Seminarian for Wellington Archdiocese
From NZ Catholic, Issue 587, 19 April 2020
Emilio Capin, 40, is a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Wellington. He was a teacher, an office worker and later became a nurse in the Philippines. He is currently staying with his sister for the duration of the lockdown. He served as a lector at the St Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral in Cagayan de Oro for 16 years. He said that, even as a young boy, he wanted to become a priest. “I had the desire to become a priest when I wasin primary school. Around the age of seven, I was attracted to the priesthood. I loved seeing priests in their vestments and I admired Pope John Paul II, who later became a saint,” he said.
He said he remembered putting on a blanket to mimic the priest’s robe and giving biscuits to his siblings in an imitation of Communion. He said he wanted to become a priest earlier,but his father was unhappy about it. He also felt responsible for his parents’ welfare as they were getting on in years. “My father is 74 and my mum is 72. They are not really that old, but they take about five to six medications a day,” he said. Fortunately, one of his other siblings agreed to stay with their parents, so he became free to pursue his vocation. He inquired about becoming a priest in his diocese, but he was told he was past the age limit which was 36. “I was already 36 at the time. Ithought it wasn’t meant to be,” he said. His sister in Wellington told him they were looking for seminarians in New Zealand. He visited his sister in 2015 to join the Capuchin order, but he was told that the order could not help him with his visa. He went home disappointed.
Two years later, a chance meeting between his sister and Fr Dennis Nacorda opened another path for him. “Fr Nacorda put me in touch with Fr David Dowling, vocations director in Wellington,” he said. “Fr David told me that, if I wanted to come to New Zealand to become a priest, I had to be willing to commit and leave my job. I said ‘yes’,” Mr Capin said. “I think there is a purpose for my being here in New Zealand. The Holy Spirit led me here,” he said.
Mr Capin encouraged those who feel they have a calling to “just listen”.“If you feel that God calls you to a different way of living, just listen and be more prayerful. For me,prayer is a very big factor,” he said. “Our lives are very busy, but we should have time to listen and also, pray to our Mother Mary . . . .”