Glenmarian Richard Toboso professed his Final Oath on May 25, 2018. He will be ordained a transitional deacon July 5 in his native Kenya. Richard’s ordination to the priesthood will take place sometime next spring.
Richard grew up in a strong Catholic family in his Kakamega, Kenya, community. His mother provided a constant example, the family valued community prayer, and his brother introduced him to altar serving. The family also desired that “one member could dedicate himself or herself to the service of the Lord, which challenged me whenever I was thinking about my vocation and life.”
In addition, he says, the love and concern of his parish pastor, a missionary, contributed to his desire to discern a possible call to the priesthood.
After primary school, he entered a minor seminary in his hometown, where his experience reinforced his possible vocation. He subsequently became a volunteer teacher at his home parish’s primary school prior to entering diocesan formation, further discerning priesthood and completing his degree in philosophy and religious studies.
He says that “my joy and love for joining Glenmary came when I met a few seminarians in 2010-11 who were studying for Glenmary and shared with me about Glenmary’s mission of serving (marginalized people in) the rural areas of America.”
It was a completely new idea for Richard, so he did more reading on the Internet and became convinced that he might be called to Glenmary priesthood—especially since he served and loved the sick and poor during his volunteer ministry. Having met those challenges, he says, gave him the courage and hope that he could join Glenmary and “fulfill my heart’s desire to be with people who are marginalized.”
A pivotal experience was the 2013 Glenmary retreat he attended, during which he had the chance to listen, talk to, pray with and get to know the Glenmarians there. And his experience with Glenmary since he arrived in the United States has reinforced his choice.