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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Son, If You’re Happy, I’m Happy
Vocational Testimony of Fr. Aldo Sahagún, LC

Testimonio vocacional del P. Aldo Sahagún L.C.
Fr. Aldo Sahagún L.C.
I was born in Ocotlán, Jalisco on April 24, 1976. There are three of us siblings, and I had the good luck of being the middle child. I was always a very restless boy. I signed up for karate classes and lasted only one month because I got bored. Afterwards, I joined a soccer team, and whenever I could, I went out hunting with my uncles and cousins.

I studied at a Catholic school that belonged to the parish. We usually kicked off the year with a Mass in the parish, and we started our classes each day with a little prayer in the classroom. In my house, there was a very Catholic atmosphere, and my mother set the tone. I fondly remember how my mom would send me and my brother to the children’s Mass on Saturdays. On Sundays, she would often ask us what the priest had talked about in the homily (to see if we had really gone to Mass). When she found out, after a month or two, that we just listened to the homily and then went out to play, she changed the question: what were the parish announcements about? If we couldn’t answer the question, we had to go to Mass again.

The thought of being a priest never crossed my mind, although I had a cousin who was a diocesan priest. I sometimes served as an altar boy at the parish, but it was more because at the end the priest gave us something to eat or let us go up into the bell tower to touch the bells.

When I was in 6th grade, four priests came to my classroom: two diocesan priests and two Legionaries. I and four other classmates went to a get-together day organized by Father Enrique Flores at the “Las
Testimonio vocacional del P. Aldo Sahagún L.C.
Margaritas” ranch in Tototlán. I had a great time, but that was it. Before the end of the year, Father Enrique came again and invited me to the summer convention in the Legionary apostolic school of Ajusco. He explained that it would be like the get-together day, but instead of being one day, it would be the whole summer. It seemed like a wonderful dream to me, and I said yes.

Just for the Summer
I never gave any importance to this fact, and I had even forgotten it a few days later. One day, a white car came and parked outside my house, and my sister came over to the neighbor’s house where I was playing to tell me that there was a priest who was looking for me. I thought she was probably pulling my leg, but I decided to go check to see if it was true. It was Father Enrique. The priest explained to my parents what the summer convention was, and at the end of the conversation my dad asked me a question that left me frozen in place: “Aldo, do you want to go?” I started to squirm in my chair. My eyes darted from my father’s eyes to my mother’s eyes, and finally I just looked at Father Enrique. Truth be told, I had qualms about answering the priest with a straight “No.” It seemed wrong to tell him no when I had told him yes earlier. So I told the priest, “Yes, just for the summer.” That was how I got to the apostolic school of Ajusco, in Mexico City.

After the summer convention, my parents came to pick me up but I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay to do my high school studies right there. My dad gave me a dirty look, but at the end he let me. My mom embraced me as they were leaving and said: “Son, if you are happy, I am happy.” This answer from my mother impressed me, because I knew that it was harder for her than for anyone.

My four years in the apostolic school were marvelous. I never felt the call of God directly; an angel never appeared to me to confirm the call, and there was never any extraordinary event. Everything was normal. At home, I knew that I had to earn my dad’s permission, since some of my relatives thought it was wrong for me to go to the seminary at such a young age. I had it clear that I was where I belonged, and that I was where I had to be. It was an interior sentiment.

My Family Receives the Grace
The day came to make the jump to Europe; I had to go to Salamanca for my novitiate. Then came the trial by fire: getting my dad’s permission. On my home visits, I had already had some “rounds” with him on the topic, but I always stayed firm in my decision, and I think sometimes I was actually stubborn. And my dad always respected me. I remember that once when my parents came to visit me, they came out of the rector’s office in tears after speaking with him. I have very seldom seen my father cry, so I understood that something had happened. He came to me, hugged me, and told me to count on his support.

Little by little, God was giving my dad and other relatives the grace to accept my vocation. I didn’t choose or look for the vocation; I simply tried to respond to a call from God by always doing his will. It’s not that everything has been easy or that there were no difficulties afterwards. One tries to respond, to be generous… and God has always been understanding, good, and patient.

This Is My Place
After finishing my novitiate and humanities in Salamanca, I went to Rome to start studying philosophy. After my second year of philosophy, I went to work in Monterrey at the apostolic school. It was very beautiful to be able to come back to the same rector who had been my superior during my years at the apostolic school. I remember that he told me jokingly, “Now you are going to do your penance for all the suffering you caused me,” and we laughed together. After three months, I was moved to Mexico City to work in the territorial directorate for four years. Those years were truly a grace because I was able to see the needs of the Church and of the Legion closer up. It’s like seeing a beautiful landscape from a mountaintop where you can appreciate the view in a way that you can’t when you’re down below.

During these 19 years, ever since I entered the apostolic school, I have always felt the same experience that I felt from the start: that this is my place and that I am at home. It has been like embarking on an adventure that never ends. Every day, every year, there are new experiences that have helped me to mature and grow in that response. The important thing is always to have that attitude of generosity, of openness to God’s plan. God is much greater than us and he has a plan marked out that we can’t imagine. Our part is to follow that plan, to have faith and confidence in him. God is faithful and God doesn’t let us down.

Father Aldo Sahagún is the second son in a family of three children. He was born in Ocotlán, Jalisco, on April 24 of 1976.He entered the apostolic school of the Legion of Christ in Ajusco, Mexico in 1988. Afterwards, he was moved to Salamanca, Spain where he did his novitiate and humanistic studies. He worked for a time as a formator of minor seminarians and also in the territorial secretariat of Mexico City. He studied philosophy and theology at the Regina Apostolorum in Rome, where he is currently studying for his licentiate in moral theology.



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