Andrea Povero Pilot photo/courtesy Vocations Office
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Home Town -- Ivrea, Italy
High School -- Liceo Classico "Carlo Botta"
Seminary attending -- Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary
What are some of the factors that led to your decision to enter the seminary and discern the question of a vocation to the priesthood?
The first time I thought about becoming a priest was when I was 13 years old. However, as I was growing up, as any other teenager living in today's society, I had other plans for my life than the priesthood. Nevertheless, as much as I would try to put it aside, the possibility of the priesthood always remained in the back of my mind. As a matter of fact, when I finished High School, I found myself very confused about my life and with many doubts about my future. I began to study physical therapy, but a few months later I decided not to continue. At that time, in the midst of that confusion I felt that God was calling me to him. That this "thought" that had remained in the back of my mind was God calling me to enter into the seminary.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary?
I come from a Catholic family and even though my father died when I was 7, God gave the grace of knowing Christian men who always demonstrated perseverance in their struggles, relying on God and trusting in Him. This had an important impact on me; when I had to decide either to enter in the seminary or not, the example of these men encouraged me to trust in God and in His plan for me.
What would you say is the role of prayer in the life of a seminarian?
Once my uncle told me that "you can tell a lot about a man by how much he prays." Prayer is the way to live our life authentically, both when it comes with difficulties and problems and when it comes with joy and times of peace. Prayer is the way to face the battles of life together with God and this is the reason why it is so important in a process of discerning God's will.
What advice would you give to a man who thinking about his vocation and is considering that God may be calling him to be a priest?
First, if he is unsure or scared, I would encourage him not to worry; I too was very unsure at the beginning. Second, I would tell him that God is a generous Father and once we go past the initial fears we begin to discover that a vocation comes with many gifts that God wants to give.
What do you like most about being a seminarian?
What I like most of being a seminarian is the fact that life becomes an adventure. The only certainty you have is that God has called you out of love for you.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?
I think that the greatest challenge for a young man considering the seminary is to fall into the trap of being overwhelmed by the doubt that by being a priest he will never be fulfilled as a man. In fact, everybody in this world teaches us that a man is the one who is independent, who works and makes money and for sure not a person who decides to entrust his life to someone else.
What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?
In my free time I like to play sports, particularly soccer and running, and to read.
What are some of your favorite authors/books/movies?
I enjoy the books written by Saint Pope John Paul II, even before he was a pope. Some of my favorite authors are Flannery O'Connor and the Italian writer Oriana Fallaci. I love Roberto Benigni's movies.
What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the archdiocese of Boston?
I believe that the vocation of a young man comes foremost from his personal experience of the Church. This means that, even before talking about vocations, the fundamental thing is to discover that the Church has the answer to the questions and the problems facing young people, and, therefore, to assure them that she is not far away from their life and their sufferings. Young people today are seduced everyday by the "appeal" of the world and the Church can help them begin to view their life through the eyes of faith, sustaining them in this conquest. In this sense, as the Neocatechumenal Way proved essential in my life, I believe that it is essential today to create spaces within the parishes for young people to come together, away from the anonymity of living their faith, and join together in celebrating it in a community.
Seminarian Spotlight is a collaborative effort between The Pilot and the Archdiocese of Boston's Office for Vocations to introduce readers to the men preparing for priesthood in the archdiocese. More seminarian profiles and information on discerning a vocation are available at www.VocationsBoston.org.