My name is Kelly Aalbers. I was born in southern Alberta, but our family moved many times, settling in to pick up and move again. My parents live in Lloydminster, on the border of Saskatchewan and Alberta. I have lived all over both provinces but call Saskatchewan home. I was the middle child of three. We were raised with a strong foundation in the faith and encouraged to grow as time when on. All throughout our home-schooled life faith was central.
I have always known priests and the idea of the priesthood was never out of my mind. I was afraid of the commitment that would be required if God called me to be a priest, but I see in hind sight, that all of the moving growing up played in to that fear. As I grew, I came to have this huge longing in my heart, I tried to fill it, with work, study, disobedience, obedience, distance, etc. but nothing worked! I came to see that this longing was the Lord’s call in my life. When I was 16 years old I had my first experience of really being called to the priesthood. I felt the Lord saying, “What would it profit a man to gain the whole world but forfeit his own immortal soul?” (Mk. 8:36) This question and the work of the Holy Spirit kept me involved in a retreat center, with ministry teams, and he eventually lead me to St. Therese Institute in Bruno Saskatchewan, the place I now call home. If I wasn’t with the Companions, I would be in that little town.
My time in the young adult Faith Formation program at St. Therese was a key step in my discernment. Through the program, I came to see that serving the Lord was exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I stopped running from God in those area’s of my heart that were still afraid of his call, and I rediscovered much of the gifting God had given me in my childhood, of being sensitive, gentle, and compassionate. I did a second year at St. Therese, and was convinced that I should join the community, but an offer was made to serve in the pastoral ministry at St. Therese, I felt called to do that and waited a year to join the community. During my year, the Lord confirmed over and over again in my heart and life the call to the priesthood. From first meeting Fr. Simon Lobo when he was still a seminarian, the Companions were on my mind. With my different ministry experiences, a desire to live in community, and seeking a charismatic community, I have only ever felt at home as a Companion of the Cross.