A letter from Fr. Stefano, a missionary in Fuenlabrada, located in the outskirts of Madrid. A young student discovers forgiveness and the beginning of a change.

Dearest friends,

For a while I have wanted to write you.

I want to tell you about a mini study vacation we had in Catalunya, with a few GS students of Fuenlabrada, a few from Catalunya and about twenty Italians. All together, there were 70 of us. I was very struck by the difference between the kids who were present: some Italians much more educated, thanks to their families who have raised them in the Church and in the Movement, and a group of kids from Catalunya and Fuenlabrada who come from a very different background. There was a kid from San Hipolit, the small town where we had the vacation, who shared during the last night about how his life is changing. He didn’t know exactly how to describe it, but he knew that his life was radically changing: “more than anything else because I discovered that there existed a place where forgiveness is possible”. A forgiveness that with his friends had never existed. He told us that at most one pretends as if nothing has happened, minimalizing the problems. But then the problems are only suppressed at the bottom of your heart and you don’t know who to reveal them too. In the end, to anesthetize the problems at home, at school, with the girlfriend, you dedicate yourself to empty relationships, to drugs or to alcohol.

Instead, he continued “with these people it is possible to forgive, it is possible to speak about everything, even what is most problematic or embarrassing. It is something divine”.

Just like that, he said: divine. For the first time after his first communion, this kid has returned to going to confession. On the feast of the Immaculate Conception he received his second communion. I understand that it is really Christ who presents himself in time. In the flesh. Also in the flesh of a group of random students who don’t have anything in common except the friendship with Him.

An embrace,


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