|Fr. Adilson Carraro, LC|
My grandparents on my father’s side, coming from northern
Italy, arrived in Brazil a little after World War I.
My grandparents on my mother’s side left Poland before World
War II, seeking a continent where they could live in
peace. Both families were very Catholic. My grandparents spared no
effort to go the more than 20 km. that separated
them from the church where they went to Mass each
Sunday. Throughout the year in their town, they had novenas
and afternoon rosaries among the families. It is a tradition
that continues in many towns in Brazil.
My parents had no
trouble in transmitting the faith they received from my grandparents.
Thus, when I decided to leave all my securities and
throw myself into the adventure of the vocation, my parents
not only didn’t oppose it, but they supported me unconditionally.
I say adventure because God usually reveals his plan for
us in a gradual way and in the measure that
he receives our reply.
God knew how to wait
yes to God in a moment when the soul feels
spiritually consoled is relatively easy, but to keep this yes
in the moments of difficulty and spiritual dryness requires generosity
and a great faith. At least this has been my
When I first met a Legionary of Christ I was
impressed by the fidelity and apostolic zeal that he radiated.
I had several chances to attend retreats, but because of
my work situation and my sports commitments, I kept postponing
it, waiting for a better moment. At last, a year
later, I went on a retreat.
God knew how to wait,
and, in the little time I had left him, he
acted with determination. I remember it as if it were
yesterday: that invisible force that moved me to give God
an opportunity. I didn’t know if I had a vocation
or not, I had never considered it before, but I
was certain that I couldn’t go on as if nothing
had happened. I went to the chapel. It was a
Sunday afternoon, and there at Christ’s feet I decided to
give God an opportunity.
A week later I was beginning the
That was only the beginning
When I returned
home, I had to think of a way to tell
my girlfriend, explain my decision to my parents, quit my
job and leave aside slew of miscellaneous things that tied
me to this world. That was the beginning of a
great detachment. I don’t regret it because from then on
I began to see that God was much more than
what I had left behind. Like all consecrated souls, my
first yes to God was a trial from the beginning.
God was in a hurry to form me.
“You are wasting
your time,” were the words of the doctor at company
where I worked. He said it while he was doing
my exams a few days after my yes to God.
With time, I understood that was exactly the contrary. Without
faith, life can be wasted because it loses its meaning.
vocation has matured in these years of preparation for the
priesthood. Christ himself warned us that his path is not
comfortable or ordinary. The summit is high, and it is
the way of Calvary. But with the help of his
grace, we can travel it as brave pioneers.
God never abandons
those whom he calls for such a singular mission. It
is a way with lights and shadows, with triumphs and
failures, with moments of peace and of battle. And through
it all, the Lord is transforming us. I have seen
this conviction confirmed through the many souls who have let
themselves be transformed by him. His grace does it all,
but he needs our free and love filled cooperation.
Carraro was born in Guarapuava, Paraná, Brazil, on June 28th,
1972. He studied electronics and worked in electrical maintenance for
a paper and cellulose company. He entered the Legion’s novitiate
in Brazil in January 1994. He studied philosophy in New
York, and is licensed in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical
Regina Apostolorum College. He did work with the youth in
São Paulo, Brazil. He was also a religion teacher and
spiritual guide at the Cumbres Institute of Mexico City. Currently,
he is working at the School of the Faith, and
is a professor at the Institute of Religious Sciences in