|Fr. Carlos Pi Pérez , LC|
I come from a Catholic family with deep religious
convictions. Even though we did not pray together very often,
we always went to Mass on Sunday as a family.
God, the Church, and the the faith were frequent themes
of conversation in my family. I am convinced that this
was one of the elements the Lord used to plant
the seed of the priestly vocation in my soul.
was an honest man, very responsible and dedicated to his
family. He was a man of great character and an
even greater sense of humor, characteristics I inherited from him.
From my mother, among other things, I learned and continue
to learn the capacity to find God in the all
the daily circumstances of life, including love for truth. An
example of her love for the truth happened back at
the end of 1960s when ideas not in accord with
the faith began to circulate “in the name of the
Council.” My mother bought and read all the Vatican Council
II documents to know firsthand what the Church had really
In my house, above all thanks to my grandmother and
mother, there was always a great devotion to the Sacred
Heart. I see this as another sign that God was
preparing me for the Legion, a congregation dedicated to the
Two providential circumstances
There are two circumstances in which
I can clearly see the hand of God and they
remind me of the words from the book of Jeremiah:
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jer. 1:5)
Some years before I was born my mother had miscarried.
The doctors advised her not to have other children (she
already had three) because it would be impossible. Nonetheless, my
brother José Antonio really wanted another little brother. My mother
entrusted her situation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus…and I
appeared on the scene.
In spite of it all, not
even my birth was exempt from difficulties. I was born
one month premature, I had become intoxicated by the amniotic
fluid, and the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck.
The doctors did not give me much hope. But God
did. After more than a month in the incubator I
was allowed to leave the clinic. Reflecting on all this,
I realize that life is really a fragile gift, completely
free, that we cannot take for granted.
The second circumstance also
took place before I was born. My parents were looking
for a school for my brother. They thought of sending
him to one close to our house but a friend
recommended another school, fairly new, run by the Brothers of
the Sacred Heart. A little after this Father Salvador Maciel,
LC, arrived in Barcelona to begin the Regnum Christi Movement.
Providentially, he was received by the Brothers of the Sacred
Heart in whose school he began to work as a
chaplain. If it was not for this neither my brother
nor I would have ever met Regnum Christi nor the
Legionaries of Christ.
Studying with the Brothers of the Sacred Heart,
I received a great formation, not only on an academic
level but also spiritually and humanly. They offered daily communion,
on first Fridays they offered Mass and confession, and in
May the Rosary was prayed each day. It can be
said that all the elements of my life: family, school,
friends… were favorable so that the seed of the vocation
could be planted in fertile ground. The final “push” came
through my participation in ECYD (an apostolic work of the
Legion of Christ to help adolescents live their faith) and
later through Regnum Christi.
The misson: saving souls
to know ECYD through my brother. Two people who played
a decisive role in this last stage were Father Salvador
Maciel through his priestly example and Rafael Gil, a consecrated
member of Regnum Christi who was my spiritual director for
five years. I remember the two things they insisted on
the most were love for Christ and the value of
saving souls. They always invited us to do everything for
Christ because he had loved us to the point of
giving up his life. I understood that I had a
very concrete mission to fulfill, one that depended solely on
me, and that nobody could take my place: saving souls.
I could not permit myself, because of a lack of
generosity, my own whims, or selfishness, to not complete this
mission. These have been the convictions that have accompanied and
animated me to constantly follow the will of God throughout
this road to the priesthood.
There are those who have
clear and fresh the moment of their calling. In my
case I cannot say the exact moment or date. I
only knew that at 12 years of age God wanted
me to be a Legionary. In spite of this I
continued with my normal adolescent life. I studied enough to
get by, played sports, loved heavy metal music, and at
the same time attended my ECYD club and later incorporated
into Regnum Christi.
The final year of high school arrived and
my selfishness tried to drown out the voice of God.
I had more interest in parties and going out with
friends. I graduated with honors, which gave me a full
scholarship to study in any university in Barcelona. Yet in
the midst of all this the vocation remained present. Deep
down I knew that if I wanted to be happy
the only way was to respond to the call of
God. I had to make a decision and be coherent
with it. If I was going to tell God “yes”
it would have to a yes with all the consequences
that follow. I spoke with my spiritual director despite it
having been four months since I had last seen him.
Before going in I made a visit to the Eucharist.
“If you want me to be a priest, tell me
now!” I challenged God. I cannot explain how but I
left that spiritual direction with the conviction that God wanted
me to be a Legionary. I gave up fighting, placed
myself in God’s hands, and I felt a great peace
From the moment of that first perception I have
received the grace of never doubting my vocation. There have
been difficulties and moments of weakness in which I moved
far from God. But the conviction that God called me
to this has never gone cold in my soul. Many
souls depend on my fidelity and generosity.
I thank God for
the gift of my vocation. I thank his also for
all those who have crossed my path along this road.
Most especially I thank my parents, my family, and all
those who have collaborated in my formation from my infancy
until now. They have all been true instruments in revealing
God’s plan and His love to me.
Father Carlos Pi was
born in Barcelona (Spain) on September 20, 1976. The same
day he received his baptism. He entered the Legion of
Christ in 1994 and did his novitiate in Germany. He
studied humanities in Salamanca (Spain). He has worked apostolically forming
part of the team of formators in the minor seminary
in France and in youth work in Salamanca, Rome, and
Mexico City. He received a license in Philosophy from Pontifical
Regina Apostolorum College and presently is study for a license
in Theology from the same college. Since 2003 he has
worked in the General Directorate for the Legion of Christ