Pepe Carafi is a commercial engineer who is member of Regnum Christi for 37 years, and will be ordained a deacon in 2019. He shares his testimony as a professional, husband, father, apostle and deacon.
Pepe is married to Maria Cecilia Laso Rogers who he met in Regnum Christi, and together they have seven children. He has been studying for the deaconate with the Archdiocese of Santiago, Chile for the past four years. His studies were in commercial engineering but the last 12 years Pepe Carafí has worked as an investment agent and for financial companies. However, his business work has never diverted the focus of his life: surrender to Christ and service to others.
Can you give us a little history of your life in Regnum Christi?
“Not long after joining the movement, I was appointed head of the young men’s team of Tabancura. In 1985, graduating and preparing theses, I devoted a few months to the Movement and formed an apostolate: the Pontevedra Academy, a Pre-university and Study Center. In 1987, already married and with a newborn son, I was the group leader of the Papal Guard. [The Papal Guard is a group committed Catholics in Chile: he is not referring to the Swiss Guards in the Vatican.] Together with Maria Cecilia, we have directed RC teams in Buin, Curicó and Concepción. In 2001 I was appointed Director of the Zambrano Institute and in 2003 I was appointed to the San Juan Diego School, of the Mano Amiga network, until 2005.”
In your daily life, as a professional and father, please tell us a little, how are you doing Church every day with your mustard seed?
“I think it is very important that we are people of prayer and Eucharist. The time dedicated to God is not lost, but won. There is little that we can build if we are far from Jesus Christ and Mary our mother. As a Christian husband, the first thing is to live the love of Maria Cecilia and our children. And beyond that, try to do God’s will at work, with family, friends and community. This is easy to say but difficult to fulfill. Fr. Hurtado [a well-known saint in Chile] recommends us to think ‘what would Christ do in my place.’ I seek to contribute a grain of sand to the great challenges we have in our church and our homeland and transmit the Faith through social networks.”
Why did you decide to do the Permanent Diaconate?
“In May 2011, Regnum Christi asked me to attend a meeting of lay people in Punta de Tralca and I met Javier González, another Papal Guard group leader who was attending the 3rd year of the Diaconate School. Talking with him and his wife, Rosa Maria Rogers, they invited me to enter the Diaconate and I felt clearly that God was asking me for it as the logical continuity of everything I had experienced up to that moment. I spoke with my parish priest, Fr. Julio Dutilh. I was also introduced by Fr. Xavier Castro, LC. The Cordillera Vicariate accompanied Maria Cecilia and me, in the obligatory year of discernment (2013) and introduced me to the Permanent Diaconate School of the Archdiocese of Santiago, where I began my formation at the beginning of 2014, in the evening, together with others 20 students from all over Santiago. Today we are finishing the 5th year and would be graduating, God willing in July.”
How do you think being a Deacon as you are becoming can help the Church?
“Deacon means servant, the first seven Deacons were appointed by the apostles (Acts 6:1-6). Service is the mark of the Deacon: to be available to help, accompany, comfort, celebrate baptisms, marriages, liturgies, responses, accompany the parish priest and the community. With the lack of priests the deacon will have more and more work every day.”
How can you link your Diaconate to Regnum Christi?
“Regnum Christi taught me to love the Church, to live and grow in Faith in communion with the Pope and with the local Church. Hence, the Lord has led us to participate in different ecclesial instances and thus we have reached the Diaconate, which is lived mainly linked to the Parish and to the service of the community. In our parish of St. Alberto Hurtado there is a rich experience of charisms, many parishioners come from different movements, but act together with great joy and charity in the service of the community, under the guidance of Fr. Pedro Ríos.”
The original in Spanish is on the RC site of Chile.