Ignition: Where did you grow up?
Sebastian: I originally grew up
in Connecticut but I am of Brazilian descent, I’ve been
all over though...10 mailing addresses in ten years. I’m currently
very happy in South Florida. God really called me here.
He called me back to South Florida to help my
mom through a tough time and now I’m engaged to
a girl from here—God does work in some not so
mysterious ways sometimes.
I: What was your first experience with the
S: I really had no interest in Movements. I was
living very far from the Church, I would still go
to Mass but I really wasn’t living a life in
accordance with the Church’s teachings. I met some guys at
Mass who really said I needed to get my act
straight and to this day I am still trying to
do that. A few friends from North Carolina tricked me
into going to a Spiritual Exercises Retreat—it was in Maryland!!!
I made a general confession and that started the ball
rolling. That was in the summer of 1999. It shows
that sometimes the guy you write off is the one
the conversion fever catches the most.
I: How did living abroad
have an influence in your life?
S: My experiences of living
in Brazil and traveling to a bunch of other countries
in Europe and Latin America have really taught me that
your vocabulary should be a Catholic one. In Brazil we
still finish sentences with “if the Lord wills it” and
the faith of the people in Mexico really touched me,
a simple but unbendable faith, a role model for most
I: You’ve been through the Regnum Christi Formators course, how
S: My face still lights up from the Formators
course. A deep conversion experience that seems to bear more
fruit every day. It should really be a rite of
passage for Catholic men. The best is demanded of you
and you want to give your best. My team really
was the best bunch of guys I have ever known.
We won, but more importantly two of them are now
seminarians in the Legion, which is why we won—there was
so much quality there. My most memorable event is like
trying to describe being in love—it was the small things
that you put all together that later becomes something immortal
in your memory. Witnessing the blood on the corporal in
Orvieto, Italy, at the Eucharistic miracle site, Mass at the
catacombs in San Calixto—hearing Adam Jeffries and Ryan Conklin imitate
Chewbacca at lunch- it was all great!
I: What do you
do for fun?
S: After watching Brazil win the World Cup
when they were playing so badly coming in to the
tournament was great. I still watch the highlights on tape.
But the Bucs, formerly the Yucaneers, were good for Florida,
we don’t have much success down here sportswise. I felt
bad for James Horan, though, the biggest Oakland fan in
the world. Fortunately my life is all fun and all
work. I run a youth group at an inner city
parish that allows me to go to the beach pretty
regularly—sorry for those who live up north. Being engaged is
also great—I love her and she’s my best friend. She
pokes fun at me for being messy and disorganized; it’s
like having a Legionary around.
I: What advice would you give
to our readers?
S: My advice to anyone seeking to follow
Christ is to do it with a radical conversion and
really demand the best from yourself, you would be surprised
at how much you can change your little part of
the world. Be a hero don’t just wait and watch.
What are you working on now?
S: Here in Miami we
have a grab bag of apostolates, from YTM to ECYD
to Conquest and Challenge. We are committing our resources to
building a youth section so Coffee and Creed will start
next year and hopefully Theology on Tap.