I was born in Los Mochis, in the north of Mexico. A small city that has just over one hundred years of life, established in the heart of an immense agricultural valley, bathed in sun and the ocean breeze. During the years of high school, after my peaceful early years, I felt a strong discontent growing in me. That “little world” was no longer enough for me, neither were the conversations among friends, the local music or traditions. I classified all this as a “lack of horizon.” When the time came to choose a university, I had zero doubts. I had already decided I wanted to attend the most important university in Latin America, the Autonomous National University in Mexico City. I wanted everything: to dialogue with important professors, have interesting friends, learn about the world from those who had something to say. I wanted to live in the heart of my country, to know and love it through and through. To the surprise of my parents (because I was never a great student … ), I was accepted in the department of political science, historically known for having important Mexican and Latin American intellectuals, and I graduated in sociology. During the first years of university, I used to say that I had left my land as an “exile.” My past had nothing to do with the vast horizon of new experiences and new friends.
The first year was very hard; I tasted the bitterness of loneliness. I had become a vagabond; I studied, but I didn’t know what I was building, where the university was bringing me, or what those few new friends were good for. I participated in left-wing clubs and cultural groups but deep down I felt like nobody understood what I really desired. I spent many nights discussing the meaning of things: the future of Mexico, injustices, and that which made life beautiful. But each time I went home I was more melancholic.
Finally, when I started my second year, I encountered what I had always longed for, the embrace I desired. Thanks to my brother and his girlfriend, I met Fr. Javier de Haro, missionary of the Fraternity, and leader of the movement in Mexico. We immediately became friends and through him I met CL. He embraced me as I was. The real revolution, the one that Christ begins in the intelligence and heart of man, started to appear like the break of daylight, bringing with it a sun that would never set. The following years, with the friendships and community, were a total grace. Everything became precious: understanding Sociology, the dialogues with the left-wing professors, the desire to spend all my energy and time for the community of the movement, returning to Los Mochis happy during Christmas. And still more, meeting friends from the past, the possibility of embracing them and enjoying the simplicity of my town, the familiarity with Luigi Giussani and the story of the movement, the trips in Italy with the CLU, the équipe in La Thuile, working at the Meeting.
Eventually, at the beginning of 2011, I arrived at the idea of the priesthood. Why not give everything to Christ who has given me everything? I looked at Fr. Javier and the other priests of the Fraternity in Mexico and saw men who were real, not missing anything and happy to give their lives for Christ and the movement. Happy also to live this task in mission, together with others. I wanted to live the same thing; to communicate that which had changed my life. And here I am today, after years of formation and one year of deaconate: I can say that God gives everything to those who want to live only for His embrace.
(Luis Javier Rosales, 32 years old, Mexican, currently lives in the house in Bogotá, where he will collaborate in the parish of Nuestra Señora de Las Aguas. In the photo, a moment of celebration in the parish, December 2019).