Religious vocation is Steve’s greatest prize
As a civil engineer Steve Drum saw his job as building bridges between people, today on the eve of his ordination he sees those same bridges connecting people with God.
A missionary of Verbum Dei, a new approach to the Christian life founded in 1963, Brother Steve will be ordained a deacon on 19 July at St Charles Borromeo Church at Ryde and after a lifetime of questioning his future is finally sure he is doing what God wanted.
With two siblings, Rosie a Sister with the Missionary of God’s Love and Brother Daniel, also a Verbum Dei Missionary currently studying in Spain, he comes from a rich vocation pool.
However, had you have told him he would one day enter the priesthood he would have told you you were “’dreaming”.
He admits he was lost, making poor choices and looking for something which he still can’t believe he found at an evangelisation camp.
“For somebody who was always more comfortable in a pub than a church shows God really does work in mysterious ways,” he said.
“I guess looking back I was lost, making bad decisions and had pretty much abandoned any relationship with Jesus.
“And then one day, after years of prompting by my very concerned mum, I agreed to go to a Summer School of Evangelisation just to get her off my back and, as they say, the rest is history.
“I did a complete U-turn and from that moment my life was never the same.” Reflecting on his vocational journey, Br Steve said he felt called to the priesthood on three separate occasions and while it originally fell on “deaf ears”, by the final approach he couldn’t say no.
He believes his vocation as a missionary is without doubt “exactly who God wants me to be”.
“There were a number of events that led to my entering the seminary including the evangelisation camp, attending World Youth Day in Germany in 2005 and spending time at a retreat for men allowing me a full weekend in silence,” he said.
“At first I was literally sitting there with my hands covering my ears looking for reasons why I shouldn’t but after the men’s retreat I literally couldn’t enter quick enough.
“I spent a month as a Verbum Dei missionary in the Philippines, came back, gave away all of my possessions, entered the seminary and never looked back.
“My calling was to be a missionary and tell everyone about Jesus and my ordination to the priesthood is the best way that i can do that.”
His sibling, Sr Rosie, said she was overjoyed with her brother’s vocation and that it was quite simply “the work of the Holy Spirit”.
She said she was very “fortunate” to be raised in a family that was pretty open to promoting vocations and the Catholic faith.
“In fact, Mum often prayed for more priests, brothers and sisters adding ‘Please feel free Lord to take any of them’ … little did she know what she was going to get,” she laughed.
“I am excited, proud, brimming with happiness … words just can’t describe how happy I am that Steve has taken this path.
“I am so privileged to live a religious life and having Steve, and my other brother Dan, walk that life with me is very, very special.
“Our role is to live a life and breathe God’s love to the world. Ah the happiness of doing what I’m supposed to with my life.”
Reproduced with permission from The Catholic Weekly, the news publication of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.