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Maryknoll's new Candidate

Priesthood candidate Sean Cintron

sean3On July 31, 2017 Sean Cintron was accepted as a Priesthood candidate for Maryknoll.  Sean is 30 years old and hails from Brooklyn NY.  While his stepfather has passed away, his mother and sister reside in Brooklyn. Sean entered the military immediately after high school and served in the U.S. Army as an infantry paratrooper from 2006 to 2012. 

 
Speaking about his mililitary service, he says: “I was on active duty for six years and I was in the army infantry where I was stationed in North Carolina, Italy, Germany and Upstate NY. I deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan for a total of almost two years. I was the first one in my family to join, so there was a lot of…it was pretty uncomfortable in my house before I left because it was 2006 and we were in a time of war. My parents were obviously not familiar with that climate. To be honest, I joined right out of high school because I didn’t really have the direction…I knew I had some direction I needed from my family and friends but I was just personally unmotivated and I thought a great way to get on track was to join the army.”


“I was 19, and I took a year off from high school. It was just before the surge into Iraq. It was the most uncomfortable few weeks in my household. They tried to bribe me with every which way they could get me to not go. They said they’d buy me a new car, would help with school, get me a new apartment…I could’ve gotten into decent schools; I could’ve gotten into Fordham at the time, maybe. But I knew I would’ve failed out right away. I was pretty realistic with myself.”


Combat

“By trade, I’m infantry so it’s the main ground combat force. It’s exactly what you think about when think about the military. A lot of people are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan but very few have combat roles. But it does make up a small percentage of the military. The units I were in were the 82nd Airborne in Iraq in 2007 and the 173rd Airborne in Afghanistan in 2010. In those few years, the climate changed a lot with the way the wars were going. The first time I was in combat in 2007 in Iraq, I went on what we call a ‘direct action’ mission where we are sent to capture or kill a high-value individual or a target. That was about 90 percent of the missions in Iraq in 2007. When I was in Afghanistan, we did counter insurgency, so there was an element of raids and ambushes. The main purpose was to gain trust in the communities, establish an infrastructure, and you really do see a lot of good things come out of that.”

 

“I just came home from active duty in April so it hasn’t been that long. Later I took on a new job with ADT, the home security company until the day before the school semester started. sean2The transition to me, personally, hasn’t been that hard. I see it in a lot of my friends, like I’m thinking of my best friend David who came home and lives in California. A lot of guys struggle with alcohol and a lot of guys don’t have  plans when they come out as far as applying to schools and jobs so really he’s just on hiatus. About 90 percent turn to alcohol. My best friend David has multiple job offers but he doesn’t want to take because he’s too proud. He was a Ranger in Afghanistan and feels to good to be doing security at a mall. I don’t think he’ll ever work.”

From kid to soldier to student

“I think I’ve changed a lot. The ages I was in, from 19 to 24…those have to be the best years of your life. I think they were for me too, though. I had this perspective that most people don’t get to see, so it’s a lot different. I think I just had this view that was very enlightened. You see a lot of good things and then you see a lot of bad things. It helps you in the world here. It opens your eyes a lot.”

sean4“Fordham is not as hard as I thought it would be. It’s a lot of reading and writing but that’s what’s expected. It’s too easy…well it’s not too easy (laughs). I have four years left here ideally, which I think how it will go"

But God had a different plan: Sean  joined the college seminary program for his home diocese of Brooklyn.  It was there that he found his vocation to be that of a missionary. 

Sean will enter Maryknoll's initial formation program this August and complete his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy at St. Xavier University in Chicago. 

 





 
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