I Owe My Life to Him
My name is Tomas Mino and I am a seminarian of the Greek Catholic rite from the eparchy (diocese) of Košice, in Slovakia. I am new to Rome, as I just moved here last September to begin my licentiate in Church Communications at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. Since I have only lived in Rome for six months now, I am still in the process of learning Italian, but I am learning a little more each day with the help of students and professors at Santa Croce.
The story of my vocation goes back to when I was about 13 years old. My family was always religious and would take me to Mass every Sunday, but I was a bit of a problematic child and was always getting into mischief. When I turned 13 I had a serious operation, during which the surgeon made a mistake, and as a result I had to remain in the hospital for three months. For the first time in my life I started to reflect on the meaning of my life and the kind of person I wanted to be if I were to ever recover.
I also started to pray for healing, read the Bible, and a priest would come to visit me. I left that hospital with a closer relationship to God, and the strong conviction that I owed my life to Him. As a young teenager, I started going to Mass every day on my own throughout high school. Then after graduation I decided to join the seminary, where I lived for seven years in Košice. I was sent to study in Prague for one year, and upon returning home my Bishop, Milan Chautur, told me that he would like for me to study in the heart of the Church, in Rome.
It was hard at first to be far from my home and family, but I am growing to like Rome more and more as time goes by, and I have always had peace in being open to God’s will and saying “yes.” From the very beginning I have enjoyed and appreciated Santa Croce. The professors are so friendly, open and available to students, which is something I had not seen at other universities. I am grateful for the opportunity to be here.