Nicholas McLeod is preparing to enter the postulancy program in Philadelphia this Fall. Here is his story:
When I was in grade two my teacher asked us to interview the person who you wanted to be when you grew up. I interviewed my parish priest. That I think was the first sign of my call to the priesthood. I come from a family of six and I grew up near Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I moved to Toronto, Ontario when I entered grade 9 and then moved up to Ottawa to attend University where I graduated with a Bachelors of Commerce in Accounting and Management of People and Organizations.
I had rejected my Catholic faith in High School, but when I saw a video of what abortion did to pre-born children I knew that I was pro-life. So in University I co-founded the pro-life club on campus and who were my fellow members, but Catholics. So in second year one of them asked me to go on a retreat with them. I went, and it was there that for the first time I experienced adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I could not help but fall to my knees and I made my first real confession. Once I had opened my heart back to God, his call once again reached my ears. He wanted me to work for him.
I searched for orders but I was not satisfied with any of them, until I found the Mercedarians. What first drew me to them was their progressive view of liturgy. I loved that they celebrated the extraordinary form of the mass and offered the ordinary form so reverently. When I heard the story of St. Peter Nolasco and the Saints of the order, I knew that this is where I belonged.
St. Raymond Nonnatus in particular caught my attention. As a full time pro-life activist in Canada with the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform I feel that God is really calling for me to minister to the pre-born child, who is dehumanized, killed and experimented on both in United States and Canada. St. Raymond–the patron saint of the pre-born–demonstrated the courage and self-sacrifice that every pro-lifer must have in order to save children from being decapitated, dismembered, and disembowled through abortion. He continued to speak the Gospel of Christ, even when his lips were padlocked shut. In the same way we have to speak the Gospel of life, even when we are silenced and persecuted for it.
If I could sum up the Mercedarian mission in one word it would be re-evangelization. St. Peter did not seek to ransom anyone, he sought out specifically Christians who were losing their faith because of their captivity. I am excited to participate in that mission to give my life for the freedom of those enslaved by ignorance, despair and other captivities which are causing them to lose their faith. St. Raymond, Ora pro nobis.