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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Young “Actors” Meet Their Inspiration
Star of the movie Bella has providential meeting with missionaries while serving in Haiti

Eduardo Verastegui with his new friends
Eduardo Verastegui with his new friends

Duverger, Haiti, Nov. 8, 2010 -- An encounter with a celebrity was more than coincidence for Cecilia McMillan and Theresa Duncan from Jacksonville, Florida.  While on a summer 2010 mission trip to Haiti with members of their Challenge Club, the girls got to meet actor Eduardo Verastegui, who had starred in the 2007 prolife film Bella

The week before, the girls had served as team leaders in the state-wide Challenge summer camp in Tampa, Florida.  The camp theme focused on positive contemporary leaders in the Church and in the world today.  Cecilia and Theresa were asked to chose a leader and portray that person in a skit.  The girls chose Eduardo.  In the skit Theresa played the part of Eduardo and Cecilia his girlfriend.

Providence would bring the girls together with the inspiration for their skit the following week, when the girls got the chance to meet the actor they portrayed.  Eduardo was also serving on a mission trip to Haiti at the same time. 

Eduardo had participated with the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi in missions in the past, and the consecrated women on the trip introduced the actor to the girls.  They
Eduardo serves Haitian residents
Eduardo serves Haitian residents
also told him about the skit. 

“He was surprised and humbled that he should be chosen as a positive Catholic role model,” said consecrated woman Nicole Buchholz. 

The actor asked the girls if they had a photo of their skit to share with him.  Theresa quipped, “In the skit, you became a priest and your girlfriend consecrated her life to God!” Eduardo responded, “We’ll see if that’s what God wants for me.”  He asked the young people to pray for him while he discerns his vocation.

Eduardo offered to give his testimony to the entire group of young people.  He discussed his conversion experience and how it led him to a life of chastity.  He said his lifestyle is possible because of his deep prayer life.  On a more practical level, he said he now tries to avoid “occasions of sin,” and only watches movies recommended by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops or those that are critically recommended on Catholic or Christian Internet sites. 

He gave the young people some advice on choosing friends wisely.  “Friends are like elevators,” he said.  “They can bring you up or bring you down.” He said his chaste lifestyle has led to the loss of many old friends.  But he gained many new ones who helped to “bring him up.”



Related links

Official web site of the Vatican.
Legionaries of Christ
For Your Vocation
Mater Ecclesaie College

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