Next time you go to Sunday Service, take a moment to talk to your priest. Chances are he was a high-flying MBA and could give you a winning business idea along with spiritual guidance.
Switching from being a marketing executive at a multinational in the Gulf to training to be a priest in the tranquil surrounds of St Pius Seminary in Goregaon is quite a change, but Gilroy D’Costa is among a growing lot of young professionals entering priesthood as a second career.
He was on his way to office in Kuwait when he realised he had to change his life. He had an MBA and a top job, but was not satisfied.
“I enjoyed my job but I just realised that I could do so much more to help people,” said D’Costa, who is now 30 and in his fifth year of priest studies. “I had always been motivated and spiritually connected, and I saw that morning that I could add so much more value to society by working through god than being in business.”
Of the four trainee priests in the latest intake at St Pius, all have joined after working as a musician, lecturer, engineer or an infotechie.
“In the past, only boys — some as young as 15 — would be trained as priests. But today’s liberalised young men, who choose to live and work where they please, are finding their calling at a later age,” said Father Joseph Feliu, spiritual director of St Pius.
“Globalisation and working for multi-nationals gets you the big dollars, but for many, there is a feeling of boredom and emptiness,” said Dr Harish Shetty, social psychiatrist. “Doing something tangible for society fills that void and gives these men respect and credibility.”