I am currently a missionary at the Brazilian Central House of the Shalom Catholic Community in Fortaleza where I have spent the past 12 years in the service of evangelization as Shalom Life Community. I was born and grew up in Sao Luis and have been on Shalom missions in Sao Paulo, Aquiraz and Rome, where I completed a theology course.
My vocational story does not begin with the call to the priesthood, but with the total offering of my youth to the Lord in the service of His “vineyard”. The call “awakened” me in 2005 when I was introduced to the Shalom Community by a friend who invited me to a seminar of Life in the Holy Spirit. From that personal experience with Jesus, my life has changed radically. Even with the Catholic education I received from the time I was a child, I was missing something which I later realized was the absence of a personal relationship with Jesus. It was therefore essential for me to understand and experience this “friend” who whose voice I could hear calling me. With the help of the Shalom Community, I grew up in the relationship until I decided to leave everything with joy “to buy the most precious pearl” (Mt 13.44).
My ‘missionary adventure’ began at the age of 17 when I left my parents’ house to follow that voice which said: “come and follow me”. I do not know how I dared to do it, only Love can explain it. Until then, I did not think of myself as a priest, I just wanted to follow Him- I walked with Him and that was when I had my second call, ‘the call within another call.’
The truth is that I was doing very well in missionary life, despite the numerous challenges of evangelization, life of poverty, obedience, chastity, adaptation to Community life and the inner struggle for conversion. Nonetheless, I was happy to help people, to dedicate my time to God and work hard to make the kingdom of God grow. After three years of missionary life, the Lord called me to do something else: “If you are fruitful in this way, you will be much more than the person I created”.
God wanted more fruitfulness. Therefore, I welcomed – for Christ – the Will of God so that I could become like Him and begin the journey towards the priesthood. There were nine years of study, spiritual accompaniment, community life and intense apostolic service. I have been blessed with the many graces that have poured out. Truly God is faithful!
Today I am preparing for the diaconal ordination, the first degree of the sacrament of the Order- the next step for the priesthood. What do I expect? I hope to continue my missionary life – with Christ – serving with Him all that come before me on the roads of the world. My aim is to be in total conformity with Christ, to live united to Him- in Christ – and to accept his Will in totality. I want to go to the ends of the earth with him.
I want to live for love of Him, with Him and in Him. I want to give Jesus to all, give His Body and Blood, to minister God’s reconciliation (Shalom!), welcome the new Sons of God in the Church through baptism and prepare those I meet for eternal life in Heaven.
In short, the priesthood for me is the way God wants me to serve Him in the Shalom vocation. Becoming himself – in persona Christi – and taking himself to all men – Corpus Christi.