I was born in Rome in 1978. I received so much good from my parents and then from my two brothers. At home the first seeds of my faith were sown, at that time perhaps faith was more related to a sense of duty and to the social context than to a relationship with the Lord and ecclesial involvement. As a child I was rather timid and found security in the role models within the family, but also implicitly I felt some anxiety about imitating role models. As a teenager, I enjoyed reading, music – U2 in Milan was my first unforgettable concert, with Dad forcing himself to accompany me – as well as football, skiing and running. In fact, I was always very much inclined to running.
The beginning of the race
I ran during my high school (Classical) and university years (Political Economy at La Sapienza), this being during the same years of an intense and important love affair with a girl I met in school.
I went on to study Economics and continued the race in London and then New York, where I lived for six years and earned my PhD. Then I did some research and teaching at university, first in Florence and then in Bologna, still passionate about understanding economic facts and their social implications.
During these years I had a few other romantic relationships, some of them very beautiful, but in which I could not remain for long.
A Break. Those who run know that, whether they like it or not, every now and then a break is necessary.
My first break was during my university days in Rome: friends “dragged” me for catechesis on the Ten Commandments, and there for the first time I opened myself to the proclamation of the Gospel.
I had another break in London in a small parish in the centre where I met Fr. Alan, an extraordinary priest. Talking to him, listening to his homilies and seeing how he related to people, I felt so much the power and intelligence of God’s love that I began to feel, “What if my life was like his?”
The last significant break was in Bologna, where I met Pietre Vive: during that community experience and proclamation of the Lord’s beauty through art, the question came up again.
The strength of the call
Running could no longer hide the restlessness and my incredible insight of being called by God, with my limitations and despite my sins, to the priesthood. At that point even a crisis – in itself a blessing – helped me to stop and let it accompany me. That intuition was not only credible but met my deepest desire. From then on, another more beautiful race took place.
After an initial discernment I entered the seminary in Rome. Some of my friends were amazed and others had some reservations while many were happy for me. Most of all I found the support of my parents and brothers, who were also trying to follow the Lord a little more closely.
I will always be grateful for the three years I spent in the seminary. It was a very rich human and spiritual experience, and I had the chance to know more about the Church and to love it.
But as I continued to attend Pietre Vive, seeing the way of proceeding of some Jesuits, delving into the story of Ignatius and recognizing myself in some way in the initial part of his life – the passionate temperament, the grandiose outbursts, the wound, the forced pause -, I clarified even more my call and desire, feeling the Society of Jesus as the best way for me to be with the Lord and to serve others in the Church and in the world.
In the Society
And so, in 2015 I entered the novitiate in Genoa: two providential years, where I had a break for a little longer, put things in order and encounter the Lord and myself more deeply.
After the vows my first apostolic experience was at the Massimo Institute in Rome. The intuition of the superiors to assign me above all to a Primary School was ingenious, an experience which is the direct opposite of my academic formation, but among the most consoling of my life: in telling “the stories of Jesus” to the little ones, I rediscovered the beauty and tenderness of the story that Jesus wanted to recount with me through my life.
So, I left for Madrid to study Theology. As it was for Ignatius, I returned to the school bench in my 40s, but I am grateful for what I learned and for my experience of the Society in Spain.
In February 2022, I received the great gift of priestly ordination: the joy and responsibility of being a minister of the Eucharist and reconciliation.
The wealth of the mission
Finally, for now, I am in Milan: the feeling of being sent is more concrete. Da una parte la specializzazione in Teologia, cercando il dialogo tra la riflessione economica e quella morale. Dall’altra la grazia di continuare a raccontare Gesù ai bimbi dell’Infanzia al Leone XIII. I also accompany the Pietre Vive community and young people in Milan and, in summer, at Villa Capriolo (Selva di Val Gardena). At Capriolo over the years, through the precious work of Jesuits and collaborators, the Lord has done so much good: my commitment will be to continue to advance this work, for which I feel inadequate, but I can count on the help of many friends and companions.
The race continues
I almost feel dizzy when I stop to remember the many gifts that without merit I have received from the Lord: such a beautiful life only He could give me, and this knowledge sustains me even in the inevitable moments of fatigue. And so, it is good to keep running, certainly physically slower and slower, but in the mission more and more propelled by His love for me and for all.