The month dedicated to training concludes with the testimony of the provincial prior, Sergio Sánchez.
The meeting began with a broad and testimonial greeting from the Prior Provincial, Sergio Sánchez.
The beginning of his vocation to consecrated life:
“I was about twelve years old and a seminarian asked me do you know what vocation is? , and he himself replied, "I believe that you have a vocation." After five years, when I was involved in a charismatic renewal community at the age of 17, my vocational concern came again. At that moment I began to pray on my own. Deep down I was looking for an answer, what do you want from me Lord? A feeling of joy and confidence enveloped me. I emphasize personal prayer, I wanted to be alone, and joy, the same joy that is rekindled in me when I listen to those in formation looking for answers ”.
Also the first years of his initiation into that new life:
"The Lord acts in our personal history by undoing knots and removing resistances and obstacles. From all that I thought was obstacle and contraindication the Lord has brought out an answer.
I finished primary education at the age of fourteen and studied high school in the open system, I come from a ranch, of poor and large family; many external conditions. In addition, my personal and complex limitations were many; I am not holy, although I did feel a good and helpful person, with difficulty in studying; by then, youthful loves were beginning to be a part of my life. That was all accompanying material. Looking back I can say like Jeremiah, "You seduced me Lord and I let myself be seduced," you were like fire inside me, you got into my bones - I love the song You seduced me, Lord, from the Kairoi group, because it sums up a lot of what my life is. Today, after many years, I would say with St. Augustine: "for the love of your love"... I am what I am. So is the Lord, when He calls He no longer lets you go."
Trainers and the formative community
How important mediations are, starting with our family! The role of trainers is vital; the family and home environment they seek, personal accompaniment, their witness and their joy, their honesty to share their own searches and processes are indispensable. I do not understand a vocation without accompaniment; not so life be resolved for us, but to have a witness to help us be consistent with what we say we want to live.
I knocked on the doors of the conciliar seminary and they didn't open it for me. I was told that when I was 17, I had to start high school. The Augustinians Recollects opened the door for me, saw in me a good candidate for a religious brother, I was not bad at manual labor, the use of the beak, the shovel and the scissors for the sed. Deep down, the Lord wanted me for religious life, without me knowing.
I don't understand my vocation without a community. Something like that family home habitat. I receive the community as a gift that sustains me in my vocation and I feel responsible for building fraternity with them. Fraternal life is a gift and a task; in it we continue to form, learning to give brothers a place in our hearts and in our lives and in it we learn to work as a team.
Mission and service
Love the mission, what the Lord entrusts to me. It is obedience to God manifested in the trainers and superiors.
There are ministries that we do not like or for which we do not feel trained, but we see god's hand in them - I doubt that someone will volunteer for formation, yet we respond with who we are - I spent twelve years in formation proper..., the formandees have been in many ways my trainers: I have seen in them the spark of God's love that calls them above their limitations, resistances, inconsistencies... They infect us with love first or challenge us with their doubts and darts. In formation there are no standard recipes, everyone has to live their own story, trusting in a certainty: when the Lord calls he holds with his gaze.
Loyalty and permanence along the way
I dedicate the last word to perseverance. There are not a few brothers who come and go. What happened? Some of them in the first years of ministry, after two, three... Years. This troubles us and hurts; something we haven't done right. If they leave after a serious discernment, glory to God and joy for them; but those who abandon us so quickly have had serious discernment?
I like the latest CIVCSVA document that is titled: The gift of fidelity. The joy of perseverance. "Remain in my love" (Jn 15:9).
Staying is the key, staying listening to God's Word, He speaks to us and is faithful. We need to learn to be with Him, even if we have nothing to say, often only entrusted to the prayer of the Church and of our brothers and sisters.
We must insist to many young and not so young religious: do not forget your Lord "Stay in my love" means an affectionate personal encounter that engages... A life of faith confirmed in fraternal life and in giving to the faithful as witnesses of the Lord's mercy.
I thank the Lord for your vocation and the dedication of the trainers. It is worth being religious and in this call is the secret of our happiness and holiness. Let us not lose the joy of our vocation!
I'm still information, like all of you. Thank you for your attention.