In the first edition of this new online feature column, 1 on 1, we catch up with second year Melbourne seminarian, Allan Aclan, 27. Allan tells us about himself from the trivial to the meaningful, and goes in depth to explain why he decided to study for the priesthood.
What is your favourite food? Nothing beats a home cooked Chicken Adobo (Filipino Dish).
What is your favourite drink? Milk.
What is your favourite movie? Anything from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What is your favourite TV or radio show? I used to listen to Triple M on the way to work.
What are your hobbies? Playing guitar/drums, drawing and playing basketball.
What is your favourite country in the world? Besides Australia, it’ll have to the Philippines, hands down.
Which countries do you want to visit in the future? I would love to go Turkey, Egypt, Jordan (Petra) one day, God willing!
If you were lost on an island and could only have three items with you, what would you take? A knife, magnifying glass, and a Bible.
If you could invite any three people in the world to dinner, who would they be? Stewart Copeland (The Police), John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Charles Barkley (NBA Hall of Famer).
What is the best (clean) joke you know? What do you call cheese that’s not yours? Nacho cheese!
What is your favourite Aussie Slang? Fair enough.
Who is your favourite saint? Not canonized yet, but it’s Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.
What is your favourite scripture passage? Mark 9:24 “Immediately the father of the child cried out, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’”.
What was your profession prior to joining the seminary? I used to fix EFTPOS machines for a living.
What was your home parish? Laverton.
Now to the deep and meaningful
Why did you decide to become a priest?
It is hard to articulate in a few sentences but I would say that it is because of my great love for the Mass that I want to become a priest. I want to be of service to the entire people of God; so that we the faithful can encounter God’s personal love for us and so that we can receive immeasurable graces by receiving the Most Holy Eucharist. I’m going to need some assistance from St. Padre Pio to explain what I mean. “I understand that Mass is offered and why it is offered, but its value, its worth, are beyond my comprehension.”
Which priest/s have had the biggest influence in your life and on your vocation?
I do not have to name names, but God knows them. Generally, the priests who have been influential in my decision are those who have been great witnesses in the public sphere. I admire their courage and their faithfulness to God and their genuine love and compassion for the people they care for.
Why did you decide to study for the priesthood at Corpus Christi College?
In my discernment, I found that God is calling me to the diocesan priesthood so that He could make full use of the gifts He gave me to bring people to Him.