John Leo Odour
Good orientation and excellent performance in my high school granted me entrance grade to the Public University. Though I was more interested to the priesthood. I joined the Consolata Institute of Philosophy an affiliate to Pontifical Urbaniana University Rome – Italy in 2005 and graduated in 2009 with bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies. I’m currently in my third-year dual master’s program in MA. Theology and M. Divinity at Christ the King Seminary in Buffalo, New York. My vocation Journey begun as young as the age of 7 and later as a grown up joined a major seminary in 2005 with the religious order of the Augustinians (OSA), I later discontinued with the order and had work experience with different international organization. I worked with Barclays Bank International-Kenya as a tea/coffee server and rose to the position of direct sales representative. Working at the bank, I gained experience that solicited inputs by genuinely valuing others, ideas and opinions, I also developed the humility to learn from others and to place teamwork agenda before personal agenda. I ended my relationship with the Bank after a period of time and got new placement with the UNHCR based in Tanzania, for 4 years, I served the refugees from different parts of East Africa.
Serving in international organizations was a chance for more experience and humbling. Meeting different people of different cultures faced with different challenges of life. By all these I came to accept and understand the true meaning of life and the presence of Jesus Christ in serving our neighbors. These missions drew me to a feeling that Christ was calling me to explore my earlier life more united to His Salvic work.
After a lot of thought and prayer and a few gentle, and not so gentle, nudges from God, I wanted to be as open as I possibly can to the will of God and to the Holy Spirit working in my life to make the right decision with my vocation life. I decided to become a religious again with the Order of Preachers Missionaries (OPMiss-USA), while being open in following through with this vocation to the priesthood, I felt more drawn to Priesthood serving in the parish level.
Currently I am headed in the right direction by the overwhelming peace I have when I am at Mass or in the Church serving the people of God as a Seminarian for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse. I feel that I have been well mentored and to achieve such a tremendous journey is a blessing from God the Almighty. It is my appreciation to all those who I have come to know in my life during this vocational journey and to all those who are still mentoring me and supporting me with prayers to achieve my heart desires of serving the people of God in the Diocese Syracuse. With support from the intercession of St. Jude Thaddeus and St. Francisca Xavier Cabrini, I want to thank God the Almighty Father for having me open up to His Will in my life and may His Will be done.