I was 11 years old the first time I thought about becoming a priest. I often went to the oratory. Every once in a while, the priest there organized weekend retreats at the seminary in Venegono for those of us kids who were interested. There we could pray, play, eat, and live with other kids from the minor seminary. Even though I don’t have the most precise memory of those moments, I remember well that one day I told myself, “I will become a priest one day—it’s beautiful.”
I often came home with a sort of religious momentum, and I sat down and read the Gospel in my room, almost in hiding. All of this lasted two days at the most, after which friends and games returned to dominate my free time.
After my Confirmation, I stopped going to the oratory like almost all of my friends, but I never stopped going to mass, thanks to my family who has always educated me in the faith. If someone had asked me why I went to mass, I probably would have responded, “What, you can not go?”
Thanks to my encounter with the Movement of Communion and Liberation, in its early embryonic form during middle school and high school, I began to discover the reasonableness of my faith in a personal and convincing way, through the birth of beautiful friendships, many of which have lasted to this day. I cannot think about my faith without thinking about these friends. The desire to be friends always, to live inside a communion like the one that I began to experience in those years, took root deep inside of me.
At a mass during one of the GS vacations I attended, five priests concelebrated. For the second time I thought, “This is precisely the communion that I want to live.” I was so convinced that I confided this thought to my vacation roommate. I still did not dare to take seriously this intuition and, to avoid the risk of falling in love, I let this thought pass for the second time.
My college years marked a definitive change. Everything that had fascinated me with regard to the life of the faith, the life of the Movement, exploded with an incredible intensity. As I met some priests and seminarians of the Fraternity at various moments during those years, I found myself almost irresistibly attracted to their form of life, so full of communion and love toward men, women, and Jesus. I decided to leave my girlfriend to finally begin seriously discerning the hypothesis that the Lord had begun suggesting to me a long before, a sort of promise that could finally be fulfilled.
The journey I made that conducted me from that moment up to the point in which I entered the seminary was anything but linear, and it even went through a period in a monastery and a period of working. This time served me as it helped me begin my formation with a heart more available to God’s will. An immense gratitude swells up in me knowing that His will is about to be inscribed in such a decisive, indelible way in my life.
In the photo, Stefano Motta with the young people from the parish, San Juan Bautista, in Fuenlabrada, a town just outside of Madrid, where they are on mission.