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

Paolo Garimberti




I was in Albania in 2020 and at the end of a diocesan meeting for young people a priest asked me this question for the first time. I knew nothing about the Jesuits and answered that I was a missionary from the diocese of Reggio Emilia. After a few months, still in Albania, a girl asked me the same question, which led me to reflect in the following months.
It was true that I knew almost nothing about it, but this word, Jesuits, had somehow already entered my life, in different ways and at different times: a Spanish novice I had met several years earlier on the Way of St. James, the Ignatian method of prayer proposed during a meeting, the Selva courses a friend told me about, three novices who had passed through my country during the pilgrimage in poverty, a Jesuit-scout I met one morning in SCutari… Different calls but toward a common direction.
Who are these Jesuits? This is the question I asked Google during the lockdown, when the possibilities of movement were limited, but not those of soul-searching. Scrolling through the pages of the EUM province website, I found some words that had long resonated within me: discernment, religious life, community, spiritual exercises, frontiers, freedom… Curiosity prompted me to get in touch with the community closest to me, that of Villa S. Giuseppe in Bologna.

As I climbed the steps of the portico of St. Luke’s that morning in May 2021 the inner weight grew with each step, something inside me tried to make me desist from my purpose, but somehow I got to ring the bell of number 24. That day I met Fr. Angelo Stella, who for the next two years would accompany me on a path of spiritual discernment geared toward discovering God’s desire for me, open to any life choice. As I went along, a curiosity to learn more about the Jesuits grew in me. I started serving at Villa S. Giuseppe during weekends or vacation periods, participated in two spiritual exercises courses and got to know the Jesuit community in Pescara and the Centro Astalli in Rome. Little by little I felt inwardly that my life would be truly full only by living as a Jesuit.
So on October 1, 2023, at the age of 29, after leaving behind my home, family, friends and my job as an electrical engineer, I arrived in the novitiate in Genoa, with the simple but at the same time great desire to walk toward God, alongside man, in the Society of Jesus.


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