Learn more about Br. Manny as he awaits his Ordination to the Priesthood
Br. Emmanuel Isaac, O.S.A. is a 37-year-old friar in the California Province. Originally from Faisalabad, Pakistan, Br. Emmanuel looks forward to his Priesthood Ordination on June 18.
Why did you chose to be an Augustinian?
Initially, I was intrigued by the quote from St. Augustine’s Confessions, “You have made us for yourself O Lord and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” This quote lit a desire in me to join the Augustinian community. I always knew that my purpose of life is to become a religious priest. Therefore, I joined the Augustinians in August 2016. During the course of formation, I came to know that the Augustinians formation has provided me a new experience to explore more about the contemplative and ministerial aspects of my faith. Participating in daily mass, communal and personal prayer, community events, and serving the people of God give daily nourishment to enhance my spiritual as well as human sides and belief in God. The Augustinian community is a place where I can be myself and embrace my humanness.
As a vowed religious serving the people of God is a lived experience of my faith. My ministerial relationships with the people I serve have nourished me to see God present in the face of humanity. I live in a community of brothers where our basic purpose is to live in harmony of mind and heart intent upon God. The life of harmony that I aim to live with my brothers helps me to witness the love of Christ among people of God specially to those wounded and broken. The reasons mentioned above are the motivation why I chose to become an Augustinian Priest.
What motivates you to become a priest?
I firmly believe that every human being comes into this world with a purpose in his/her life. And I also believe that God through his providence and mercy, helps every human person to navigate that purpose of his/her life. I consider myself very blessed that I am able to recognize my purpose of life, or, in religious and spiritual terms, my vocation. I feel joyful and at peace when I serve the people of God, doing so to the best of my abilities and with the help of God, as an Augustinian religious brother. I know life never leaves us without challenges, for the challenges and struggles make us strong, confident, and mature in our understandings of God, ourselves, and others.
Meeting people and simply being present to them is an experience of God's grace and mercy that helped me grow in my own spiritual life and faith. Moreover, it is all about giving respect and dignity to all human beings, and freedom to accept others as they are, and giving them space to grow in faith and knowledge of God. I hope that as a priest I would be able to walk with people in their struggles, pains, joys, and celebrations. Also, my hope is to bring the hope, peace, love, and mercy of Christ to others in my future priestly ministry.
How have you been preparing spiritually for your ordination?
I am spending much time in prayer, reading scripture, spending time in silence, and listening to the inner voice of my heart to prepare myself spiritually. I ask for the guidance, wisdom, and courage of the holy spirit to lead me to become a humble and holy priest of God. During the course of past few weeks, I have come to realize that God walks with me through this journey therefore I find myself at peace. I am excited with absolute joy and by God’s grace ready for the big day of my ordination. This is a journey towards God and my hope is to invite and walk with others on the same journey that I am walking on.
Learn more about what it means to be an Augustinian by checking out our other blog posts here