Catholic Vancouver Dec. 1, 2017

No to priesthood didn't mean no to ordination

By Agnieszka Ruck

After deciding the priesthood wasn't for him, Raul Solano is pursuing ordination again, this time as a permanent deacon. (BCC file photo)

VANCOUVER—When Raul Solano closed the door on the priesthood at age 23, he didn’t realize God had left open a window.

“I felt attracted to the idea to become a priest, but then my discernment at the time was that it wasn’t my call,” said Solano, who spent five years in a Franciscan seminary in El Salvador before deciding the priesthood wasn’t for him.

Solano left the seminary, received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in Guatemala, got his master's in Spanish literature in Texas, married his wife Maria, moved to Canada, and raised four children.

Then, nearly 30 years after leaving the seminary, Solano felt a call tug on his heart once again – this time, to become a permanent deacon. He answered it and with the heartfelt support of his family will be ordained at Holy Rosary Cathedral Dec. 8.

“I feel very excited and happy that my ordination is coming close. It’s like I have been dreaming and now that the time is around the corner, I am very excited to become a deacon.”

Solano is a member of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish. He will be the last of six permanent deacons ordained for the Archdiocese of Vancouver in 2017.