Jesuit Novitiate
Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus

Paolo De Lucia




I am 28 years old and I am from Abruzzo. Passionate about classical culture and literature, curious and outgoing, always in search of what is authentic and true. I was born and grew up in a small village, Guardiagrele, which has always combined the beauty of the mountain landscape of the Majella with the wonderful artistic skills of its various craftsmen (wood, wrought iron, goldsmithing). In fact, I also come from a family of craftsmen: a father who is a furniture restorer and a mother who is an accountant and has been a housewife for several years. I have an older brother, Ivan, who graduated in History of Art.

I carry in my heart the simplicity and genuineness of my home community, especially the parish, where I began my faith journey, having many friends who, like me, loved to get together and create a place of sharing open to all. It was in these spaces that I experienced the wonderful years of school camps and summer oratories, as well as combining the classic little shenanigans between boys, experiencing teenage rebellion and the first falls in love… During this period, I remember a clear refusal to consider the path of the priesthood, even though I was passionate about listening to the Gospel and putting myself at the service of people, especially young people. There was a struggle in me: on the one hand the Paul of the parish, and on the other the Paul of everyday life, impulsive and ambitious, dreaming of brilliant careers, perhaps as a teacher and university researcher. In my second year of university my ways of thinking about the future and about life shattered into a thousand pieces: the Lord made me realise his call to follow him in a radical way, not through spiritual heights, but almost touching the bottom of my human misery. He was inviting me to follow Him without erasing anything of my passions, but to give myself over to the challenge in a higher and more creative way, not as I wanted, but as He wanted.

Leaving behind habitual patterns of faith, I attend some courses in Assisi for young people, with the Franciscan Alcantarine nuns, and there I discover the power of mercy and forgiveness. For a week I follow the Spiritual Exercises according to the Ignatian method and a new world and way of praying opens up… Reading the life of Father Rocci, author of the famous Greek dictionary, the desire to meet the Jesuits personally was born. I began community service with the sick of Unitalsi and in the meantime got to know the community of St Ignatius of Loyola in Rome, with Father Vincenzo d’Adamo, also from Abruzzo. To the fears for the future were added those of the present, for various family situations, difficult at an economic level. Every doubt and insecurity seemed to be resolved when I started to work as a teacher between Marche and Umbria: autonomy, satisfaction, personal gratification… yet I felt a restlessness and great loneliness: there was a magis waiting for me, not to satisfy my selfishness, but to live in a new way, as a son and brother. ..I finally put myself on the line by continuing my journey in the Company and entering the Novitiate: the Lord asked me and still asks me to descend into the depths of life, there where I can meet Him, the crucified Love that grasps us and saves us, heals us and sends us to our brothers.

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