A life in search of an Author
I was born in Turin forty-three years ago to a Sicilian family who moved north for work. A few months after my birth we returned to Catania, where I have lived most of my life. My family was the place where I met the Lord for the first time. I’m the second of three brothers; I experienced His presence through the faith of my parents and life with my two sisters.
From an early age, my parents wanted me to be part of a parish group. That is why they tried to enrol me in the scouts, but there was no room, so they opted for Catholic Action. There I experienced growth, sharing and friendship that began to fortify my faith and character. At the age of eleven, the educators advised me to move to the scout group. I made my promise on 3 May 1992. Since then, in a way, I have never left scouting – ‘once a scout, always a scout’. It has allowed me to strengthen my faith and develop a strong sense of practicality and planning.
Already at the age of ten, I had a strong desire to dedicate my life to the Lord and thought that the priestly life was the way to go. But the time was not yet ripe. I attended scientific high school, graduated in 1998, and then went on to study Industrial Chemistry at the University of Catania. It was the beginning of a very exciting period for me, where the closeness with Communion and Liberation allowed me to grow inwardly and ask myself questions about my existence. The desire I had in my heart was still unfulfilled, because I put limits on this call and always had something important to live for.
I started working after obtaining my doctorate in Chemistry in 2008, the year in which I also started a very important emotional relationship. Everything made me feel good, but the Lord is tenacious and continued to keep in me the desire to love Him more and to dedicate my life to Him. My scout service had always taken up a lot of my time and I thought it would respond to this desire, but I realised that I wanted more. So I decided to embark on a journey of discernment, in 2018, with a Jesuit father who accompanied me patiently and with such gratuitousness that I got a taste of the Lord’s generosity and His faithfulness to my vocation and my life.
In 2019, I began the SEEL (Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life), with the aim of putting things in order and definitively understanding where the Lord would make my life complete and happy. As I progressed along this path, I took off some ballast that did not allow me to be free to choose, I became aware of my limitations but above all of the Lord’s presence in all my life: how he had woven my existence with me up to that point. But it became more and more evident in my choice that the priesthood was not what I really wanted. Trusting in my spiritual guide and in the Lord, I understood my path better. It took another year to fully understand how to make my small love for the Lord concrete, but then it was clear: I wanted to consecrate my life to Him ‘to better love and serve Him’. So I chose to enter the Society of Jesus as a Jesuit Brother. Prayer, silence, the certainty of God being faithful to what I was living has guided me so far on this journey, which is exciting and worth living. Grateful to the Lord for all his benefits, I would summarise the essence of my choice in the words of St Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you; for strength is fully manifested in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9), because only his grace can make my life a masterpiece.