The Archbishop of the Mother of God in Moscow gives us a memory of his meeting with Fr. Luigi Giussani that was decisive for his vocation.

December 22, 2015 marked my 25th year anniversary of my ordination in the Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo. I was ordained a priest with Fr. Pino, Fr. Peppino and Fr. Gino, when the Fraternity existed for a little bit more than five years. It had just been founded when I entered. I desired a communal and missionary priestly life and this place was suggested to me by Fr. Umberto Fantoni. Together with Fr.Massimo and some others, they gave life to this companionship of priests in Rome on the 14th of September 1985.
To verify the possibility of entering the seminary of the Fraternity, Fr. Umberto told me to talk to Fr. Giussani, founder of Communion and Liberation to which I belonged and whose experience made Fr. Massimo begin the adventure of the Fraternity of St. Charles.
It was on October 2nd, Feast of the Guardian Angels, when I went with Fr. Umberto Fantoni and Fr. Giorgio Pirini to Milan. I had never personally met Fr. Giussani before then and I had only seen him from a distance during the spiritual exercises for the members of the Movement of CL.
I briefly told him my story and the reasons for following the proposal of Fr. Umberto to enter the seminary of the newly formed Fraternity of St. Charles. Giussani asked me why I wanted to enter the Fraternity rather than a seminary in the diocese. Someone who was present in that meeting even suggested the possibility of attending the seminary of another diocese … In other words, there were many possibilities.
At that moment I told Fr. Giussani that even if I had not met and spoken to him before, a history was born from him that brought me to encounter Christ, arousing a desire in me to bring this encounter wherever it was needed, and that this was the reason for my priestly and missionary vocation. I told him about the memorable meeting of the Movement of CL with Pope John Paul II the year before when Holy Father asked for the availability to bring into the whole world the truth, beauty, and justice that is found in Christ Jesus. So, I continued, if he, Giussani, felt that this possibility would be better realized by entering a diocesan seminary, I would take his proposal seriously. For my part, there were no better reasons than the fact that he, Don Giussani, began this history that arrived even to me and that this seminary gave me the opportunity to “reflect” that same encounter that turned my life around 360 degrees!
Fr. Giussani looked at me very surprised. Then he said: “We have nothing to add. Enter in the Fraternity. Just remember to pray to our Blessed Mother that she makes you remain faithful to how God made you. ” It is what I have always remembered.
paolo pezzi

Also read

All articles