|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
also told him about the skit.
|Eduardo serves Haitian residents|
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.”