A long time ago I decided to go to the seminary. In the beginning I did not have the support of my family and friends. My family had other plans for me, so it was not so easy for me to arrive here, but I’m here—I was ordained on October 26 last year!
I was born on January 17, 1984 in Curitiba, Paraná State, South Brazil, a big city in Brazil. I’m one year younger than my sister. My father’s wish was that I become an engineer, and my mother’s wish was that I go into the army. But God called me, so I decided to go to the seminary.
I was baptized in the Catholic Church, but during my childhood my family and I did not participate in Church life. During my adolescence, after my father´s death, we moved to another place called Francisco Beltrão (South Brazil). In this city I had my first specific contact with the life of the Church. In the beginning, I participated only in Mass. My mother respected me and did not question me about that.
I had a good welcome in my parish and I started the catechism program immediately. More and more, I went deeper into the life of the Church. I felt my vocation begin to grow in my participation in the liturgy. For 6 years I was an altar server. This experience was important for me in order to make my decision. I was very motivated to become a priest, and at 16 years old, I decided to go to the Seminary.
At the beginning my vocational objective was only to become a priest. Today I am a religious missionary priest. At the seminary, I learned to be a prayerful person and about living in a religious community. As I grew in my vocation, I experienced many difficulties. I thought of giving up, but God motivated me to continue. Today, my family leans on my vocation and participates in the life of the Church too. I’m very happy for this grace. The religious vocation and priesthood vocation is a process and constant progress moving forward.
Six years ago my formators gave me the opportunity to choose a country where I could get some missionary experience—to participate in the Cross-Cultural Training Program (CTP). I chose to go to Papua New Guinea (PNG). Initially, I did not have much support from my family and friends in Brazil. Everyone asked why I wanted to go to PNG. I explained that the decision was necessary for my vocational and missionary growth.
Now I share much life with the people around me and confirm that God is good at all times, because people are so good to me. I remember a confrere who lives in PNG said to me once, “Marcelo, it wasn't you that chose the people, the people choose you.”
I am happy and determined. My first assignment as a Divine Word Missionary is in Chile. I am very excited to be here. I do not know my future, but I live each day in the present. Today, I’m 34 years old, am a religious missionary priest and I embrace life and feel renewed in it. Thank you God for my vocational life! Thank you Divine Word Missionaries in Brazil and PNG for the welcome and unconditional support.