Luca is 32 years old, comes from Molise and followed the World Youth Day in Krakow while in his last year in the seminary. The call of the Lord "came while I was in Madrid, at the WYD in 2010, in a tent with my girlfriend. I could not ignore it, and I hope to go to Panama for my last WYD as a priest". The vocational centers in Krakow "outpost" of discernment: "The Church must do more to help young people in their search for answers. It is true that there are frustrated priests, but there are many more young people who do not understand where this sense of restlessness comes from”.
Krakow (AsiaNews) - The World Youth Day "is a privileged path for the vocation to the priesthood. At least, it was for me. And all these young people here at the Campus Misericordiae to be close to the Pope, makes me think there are many unheard vocations. I very much hope that the Church could enact a more functional method to help young people to hear the call, just as I did during a WYD". Luca is 32 years old, he comes from the diocese of Chieti-Vasto in Molise and Krakow was his second WYD experience.
During his first, Madrid 2010, he felt called to the priesthood; this is his last year in the seminary: "In Panama in 2019 I will be there, as a priest God willing. But it will be my last because 35 years really is the deadline to be considered young".
On the paths of Brzegi Wieliczka esplanade - which hosted a prayer vigil and the concluding great mass of Pope Francis with young people from around the world - Luca sees "a very emblematic image. It looks like the many roads that everyone has before them, that I had in front of me a few years ago. The trails are not clear, we do not see where they end up, they have curves that go off in unknown directions. But they all look more or less attractive, all in the light of the sun, all surrounded by beautiful people. This field is so safe, but unfortunately, life is not so".
He had arrived in Madrid because "one of the paths that I undertook, at the time, looked bright, but it was not. My girlfriend, Lucia, had convinced me to go on the trip because I saw unhappy and grumpy. 'You'll see - she told me - that everything will be clearer'. During the prayer vigil I heard a voice that I could not ignore, and I'm happy. For the record, with Lucia - he laughs - we are still on good terms".
Now he is studying at the Major Seminary, and this year he was ordained a deacon: "I hope, God willing, to travel to Panama in 2019 as a priest. I would make myself available to those who are faced with many paths, trying to figure out if one may lead to religious life but not only. Among those roads there are also other missions, those of lay or consecrated people , marriage, children, life in fact. I would like to offer my help because I know what it means to be on a path you do not understand”.
Luca hopes that the Church will become more pro-active in favor of vocational discernment: "I found centers with trained, willing and enthusiastic people in Madrid; in Krakow it seems to be the same. In Italy we do not always have the same approach or the same attitude. I would like everyone to understand and eventually discover the path God has chosen for us is everything in life". It is true that there are many frustrated priests, in the world, but I think of all those people who live the same frustration perhaps because they did not understand that they too could devote themselves to a particular mission and have not done so".
A few days before the opening of the 13th World Youth Day security levels have been raised at Wawel, in the Market Square and the rest of the historic center. But the "peaceful" invasion of the young people is filling the streets with colour. The first vocational stands and “street confessionals” are appearing, ready for the events led by the pontiff. A Taiwanese delegation travels 42 hours to reach the cultural capital of Poland: "exhausting but beautiful".
Francis’ message for the 55th World Day of Prayer for Vocations with the theme: Listening, discerning, and living the call of Lord. " God comes silently and discreetly, without imposing on our freedom ". " Every Christian ought to grow in the ability to “read within” his or her life, and to understand where and to what he or she is being called by the Lord, in order to carry on his mission". Which is "today".
On 18 June, in Vientiane, Fr Somphone Vilavongsy became the first Oblate priest to be ordained in the country since 1975. The ceremony was attended by the Apostolic Vicar, the civil authorities and around 1,000 believers.