“I wanted to be a doctor of bodies, but the Lord changed my life and invited me to be a doctor of souls to carry His Word of healing to the ends of the earth.”
I am 29 years old, a Colombian, and have been with the Missionary Servants of the Poor for nine years. When I was still living in Colombia, I had what the world considers a “normal” life. I had my career, my friends, my girlfriend. I liked parties and having fun but in the midst of all that my heart was lacking something important. I believed sincerely that my life would have no meaning if I didn’t dedicate it to a good cause. So I began to study medicine not only to earn money but to serve the poor.
Something else that affected me was that I was a member of an NGO called “A Roof for my Country” which has great influence in Latin America. We built houses for the poor. At the beginning everything was very nice. People were grateful. But as time passed, I began to feel empty again. Why? I didn’t know. I told my mother about my emptiness and she reminded me that, without God, that is what happens.
Well, one day she was watching EWTN and saw a program about the Missionary Servants of the Poor and recommended it to me. I didn’t want to watch it but later I looked around on YouTube and listened to Fr. Giovanni Salerno speak and he said something that really affected me. “If we give to the poor only material bread, we make them poorer. The poor are not only hungry for material bread but they need Christ, the spiritual bread, to be able to discover their true dignity as sons of God and to feel themselves loved for who they are. Here is a point of departure for true change. A poor person who is conscious of their dignity works, changes, stops drinking, becomes responsible, etc.”
I met the Missionary Servants of the Poor in June of 2012 and after that week I fell in love with the prayer and work. I spent a little more than a year at the City of Boys in Andahuaylillas, Cuzco serving the poor. After that I began my six years of studies with the community in Ajofrin, Toledo, Spain which I finished in 2019.
“I had my career, my friends, my girlfriend and I liked parties but in my heart was lacking something important.”
“What we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life…we proclaim to you” (1Jn 1:1,3).
I want to emphasize, above all, one of the greatest values that Father Giovanni of the Missionary Servants of the Poor has planted in me for which I am most grateful, a profound love for the Church, the Pope, and the liturgy. I thank God for having helped me to complete this rigorous and fruitful period in my life.
After I finished my studies, I was sent for two months to our mission in Cuba, a beautiful mission which I really liked since frequently they are starting from zero with their evangelization to people very far from the faith.
I returned to our Mother House in Cuzco and in October of 2019 made my perpetual vows. Currently I help Father Carlos in the boys’ formation in our vocation center where boys are testing a religious vocation.
I give thanks to God and to you all for your prayers, especially all the cloistered nuns and monks who pray for vocations, because it is through them that God touches and transforms hearts. I am happy with my vocation and desire to place at the service of the poor and of the Church all that I have learned. I thank all those who formed me especially Father Giuseppe (Superior of this community for many years) and Father Walter (current Superior) and Father Pablo (Director of Formation) and my dear spiritual directors. One of them cares for me from heaven, Don Felipe, and another who watches over me on earth, Father Sebastian. I also thank the brothers of my community for their patience, joy, closeness and charity with me.