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Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus
Jesuits News Formation Becoming a Jesuit: walking with Leonardo and Cristiano, recently ordained deacons

Becoming a Jesuit: walking with Leonardo and Cristiano, recently ordained deacons

Leonardo, 37, has joined the Society since 2012. He studied engineering for industrial organization in Padua and Barcelona, ​​worked for a short time in Paraguay in a cooperative that produces sugar for fair trade.

“I joined after getting to know Ignatius and experiencing the Spiritual Exercises and the life of a beautiful community in Bologna, Villa San Giuseppe. I resided there for a year and a half to discover the many scattered pieces of my life story between travels, conversions and attempts to find happiness “.

Within the Society I immediately felt at home: “because I was not asked to wear a robe, but to find what the Lord had always prepared for me … and I am still searching, but now no longer alone”. These were two exciting years spent in Turin taking part in the pastoral activities of the Social Institute, together with professors, young university students and other religious, sharing the same intention that of being present and making the lives of young people meaningful. Now I am studying theology in Madrid.

“The mountain is the place where I always experience the presence and providence of God in my life story and in all things, and the fact that one hardly ever goes up the mountains alone is a sign of how God has spoken to me and accompanies me through friends, family and companions. I feel I have been brought here in a caravan full of Jesuits and more or less believing friends. They are the words which the Lord uses to write my life story. The diaconate? A gift of greater intimacy and closeness to Jesus to which I could simply respond “Yes, thank you! “.

Cristiano grew up in Sassari, in the north of Sardinia. After studying literature and obtaining a master’s degree, he moved to Milan in the mid-2000 to work in the human resources sector of an automobile multinational company. In the meantime, he met the Jesuits of San Fedele. “Between one mass and another, and some other activities, I discovered that religious life could do for me, who knows! After an interview with one of the fathers, I was directed to Bologna, the community responsible for vocations. For a year and a half, I spent my weekends at Villa San Giuseppe, taking high-speed trains to travel between Milan and Bologna, experiencing the Spiritual Exercises and fraternity″.

At the end of this journey, I joined the novitiate in Genoa, in 2013 ″. This was an intense and wonderful experience of daily life, prayer and getting to know the Society. After the first two years in Genoa, he arrived in Rome to study philosophy at the Gregoriana. “Another two intense and fascinating years, a study experience as well as experiencing the beauty of being in an international community″.

And this is how, in the end, I am catapulted to another continent”. The destination is Uganda, in Africa, to teach in a boarding school in Gulu. “I was there for a year. Standing in awe as I was surrounded with the beauty of the landscapes of Uganda, I finished my Regency period in the Neapolitan suburbs, in Scampia”. From the breath-taking landscapes of Africa to the flavours and smells of the Neapolitan cuisine, I let myself be seduced by Naples and its people “.

Then followed his studies in theology. “I took another plane, another trip to Madrid, Spain. I took another small step in the life of the church and of the Society, which is the diaconate, an undeserved gift. It opens the door to the responsibility of freely proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus, with His same attitude, I came to serve and not to be served“. Il diaconato è dono immeritato.

Here are the steps one has to take to become a Jesuit.

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