"I saw my parish priest happy, and the Lord conquered my heart."

It comes from a family of five siblings, four boys and one girl. With a Catholic mother and Protestant father, a married couple in the food trade, he is very proud of his parents, both for the values they have passed on to them and for how hard they have worked to give them all a well-rounded education. "They have been a great support for all of us. They passed on very good values that have curdled in all of us," he says. Their mother is very happy with their vocation to the priesthood and his father respects him and supports his desire to become a priest. "My older siblings are not very church-minded and my mom motivates them to get closer to the faith. God has his time for everyone."

Serving society as a priest

Dani has always enjoyed studying and training to serve society. He studied Educational Sciences and worked as a teacher in a Christian-Protestant school. Since college, the Lord was preparing his path.

During his university years, his vocation to be a priest. "It all started when my pastor proposed that I enter the seminary, something I had not thought about, but it was a light and a door that opened in my life." After this invitation, the following happened several events in his life that aroused in him a determination to do God's will.

In a healing Mass

One day, while he was in the basilica of his diocese, in a healing mass The prelate surprisingly said, "I am very grateful to the bishop for his presence at the funeral for the sick: "There is a young man who is interested in entering the seminary to become a priest and is now in the midst of discernment." It was then that Dani understood that it was Christ who was calling him. "It was me who was telling me that," he says.

From that moment on, he started to reflect on his vocation and what a priest is. That was very significant in his life. The love he had for the Church grew and the testimony of his pastor, very dedicated to the people, to the Church and to the Church, and to the people, was very important. service life was decisive.

I saw my parish priest happy

"I saw in my parish priest a very happy life, dedicated to the Lord and to others as a priest. This conquered my heart to to give myself completely to the Church and to the priesthood. Another event that occurred in his life and that marked him strongly: praying before the Blessed Sacrament in a church, he heard a person behind him praying. "When we went out into the street, he turned to me thinking that I was the parish priest. His words touched me strongly, it was for me like another sign from the Lord that I was called to the priesthood. Vocation is a mystery, but God calls you in everyday events".

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Dani Alexander Guerrero with a group of young people.
In the seminary at age 22

After these events, he entered the seminary at the age of 22 in his diocese of Our Lady of Altagracia. At the age of 25, his bishop sent him to study in Spain to prepare himself to become a priest, and has been residing in the Bidasoa International Seminar and studies Theology at the Ecclesiastical Faculties of the University of Navarra.

When he told his friends that he was leaving everything to become a priest, they tried to dissuade him: "My friends tried to convince me not to enter the seminary, they gave me a thousand reasons, that I would no longer have a wife (I had had a girlfriend when I was 17), no family, no children, that I was going to leave my profession for which I had prepared myself. But my calling was stronger and none of these things stopped me. Now they have understood that I am happy with my decision and they support me."  

For Dani, one of the characteristics of a priest of the 21st century is to be close to the people and close to young people. "He must get involved in the actions and hobbies of young people and take advantage of that space to evangelize. And that he loves his Church very much. In his preaching he should speak the word of God and give testimony that he is a Christian and a holy priest. Through our witness we can encourage people to find God. Therefore, I believe that transmitting the faith through our witness and caring for people is the most important thing for priests today.

How to encourage young people

This young seminarian from the Dominican Republic considers that young people today are "very distracted with the things of the world, with networks, technology, fashion. All this has brought a lot of confusion to the youth of our society who follow erroneous ideologies. The young Catholics We have to give testimony of our faith, to transmit that it is possible to be young and Christian. Let them see in us a light. True happiness is in following Christ," he says.

The majority religion in the Dominican Republic is Catholic, although there are also many Protestants. For this reason, he is convinced that, in order to evangelize, the main thing to do is the doctrinal formation of the catechists. "The more prepared we are, the better we will be able to make Christ known to others. Many Catholics go to the Protestant church because of lack of formation. An ignorant Catholic is a future Protestant".

"We Catholics have to give witness to our faith, to transmit that it is possible to be young and Christian. Let them see in us a light. True happiness is in following Christ".

Dani Alexander Guerrero

For this reason, he is extremely grateful to the people who make it possible for so many seminarians from so many parts of the world to have the opportunity to study to become a priest in Bidasoa and in the Ecclesiastical Faculties of the University of Navarre or in the University of the Holy Cross in Rome. "Thanks to the benefactors of the CARF Foundation we are training with great enthusiasm to return to our dioceses with enthusiasm to be able to evangelize. May God repay you.

Marta SantínJournalist specializing in religious information.

"At five years old, I felt that God was looking at me."

From a young age, David, from the diocese of Escuintla (Guatemala), felt a special call from the Lord, without really knowing what it was. His vocation began to take shape in his family. His grandmother taught him to pray the rosary with an uncle who was a priest and whom he looked up to a lot. He learned to have my times of conversation with God. "She always said I would be a priest. Grandparents are a big book where you can learn a lot of things, and I learned a lot from them. are the fundamental basis of a family: without them, customs and traditions would disappear.". 

When he was only five years old, one day, sitting in his uncle's parish, he stared at the crucifix on the altar. "I felt the Lord looking at me; so I started chatting with Him, and you know what the best thing was? that He answered me. It may sound like something I imagined, but to me it was real. All He would say to me was, 'It hurts, it hurts,' and I would ask Him what it was that hurt and He would just say, 'Follow me and you'll see. 

The youngest of five siblings 

David is the youngest of five siblings, a large family, something that today is seen as crazy. "My parents have always worked hard to give us an education. We lived from day to day, but thank God we never lacked for anything. My father is in the military and my mother always looked for ways to bring money home, whether it was selling ice cream or owning a beauty salon, with which she paid for all of us to go to school. My mother has always worked and still does. She is an exceptional woman. She is my role model". 


"My mother converted to Catholicism."

Prior to her marriage her mother was a Mormon. She converted shortly after meeting his father, practicing the faith in a very pious way. She taught David to love God above all things and to have a great devotion to the Virgin Mary. "In her simplicity and humility, I wanted to follow the Lord." In addition to her influence on her son's vocation, his mother helped him understand and accept when one of his sisters became an Adventist.

David's family has also gone through moments of the Cross, which they have accepted with great faith. The second of the siblings died when she was only three months old due to an illness that at that time could not be cured. Every year, when her birthday comes around, they remember her with special affection and emotion. "My mother still grieves, but she firmly believes that she is our guardian angel and that she watches over us and reserves a place for us in Heaven." 

The itinerary of your vocation 

David entered the propaedeutic (seminary discernment course) in Guatemala when he was 17 years old. Then, for personal reasons, he decided to leave the seminary and began to study Law and Social Sciences at the university, spiritually accompanied by a priest.  

"When the Lord called me again with more strength, I left everything and began to study philosophy in the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. Afterwards, I returned to Guatemala and worked in the Ecclesiastical Tribunal. It was then that my bishop decided that I should continue my theological studies and I arrived in Spain, in Pamplona, in 2021. The Lord is the one who guides my path and He decides how it is carried out and how it will end. I am in His hands. 


The priest of the 21st century 

Faced with a secularized world and a shortage of vocations, David believes that the priest must be a well-prepared person who knows and understands theology. He must be a man of faith, hope and charity. He must be a priest one hundred percent, that is to say, he must always be there for others, he must not be absent. A priest who does not marginalize or make distinctions. That he knows how to be a shepherd with capital letters and that, as Pope Francis says, at the end of the day it smells like sheep. May it be Christ for the people. 

Marta SantínJournalist specializing in religious information.

Javier Pastor, the youngest priest in Spain

He entered the seminary at the age of 17 and was ordained to the priesthood on May 6, 2023 in the Almudena Cathedral along with twelve other companions. He belongs to the presbyterate of the diocese of Madrid. 

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"God has called me young for something to be a priest."

His youthfulness and demeanor are appealing and captivating. Although God is the one who changes hearts, presence, youth and our way of presenting ourselves is also very important in the century of the image:

"Youth is a great asset today, certainly. People get things in their eyes... But all of that has a ceiling that is soon touched, especially when you're trying to help someone grow in faith. I have no doubt that God has called me young for a reason and is making use of it. But more than the image of a young priest, What I am discovering is the consequence of being young: not having a heart that is outdated by the worries of the world, but fresh and eager to love everyone without exception," he tells the CARF Foundation.

His years in Bidasoa

Javier is one of the thousands of priests that the CARF Foundation cooperates in their integral formation. As soon as he finished his biosanitary baccalaureate, he began his studies for the priesthood at the Bidasoa International Seminary, where he stayed for three years.

"The experience was a real family experience. The beginning is very peculiar because you meet almost a hundred people from more than twenty different countries. But I remember that the Latin Americans welcomed me, despite my seventeen years of age, very normally. Little by little you discover what a treasure each person and their culture is," he says.

From his time at Bidasoa, he is grateful for two situations that helped him in his vocation: "I had a saintly formator, Juan Antonio Gil TamayoHe died of lung cancer and was an unforgettable priestly example. The relationship with the formators was very stimulating. And the University of Navarra, with all its limitations, is a real luxury. I had very well prepared philosophy professors and theology was studied with great enthusiasm and freshness. They managed to introduce us to the great saints like St. Thomas or the Fathers of the Church. The professors were always available to reflect together, to recommend readings, and even to make leisure plans in which conversations about God were authentic theology," he describes.

Javier believes that all the students who pass through Bidasoa leave the seminary in love with the priesthood, Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

At the Madrid seminar

After these three years, he continued his priestly formation at the Conciliar Seminary of Madrid, where he was a member. Four years, including that of deacon, "also exciting. They were the last ones before my ordination, so in formation one does not mess around and it is more intense".

Friendship with other seminarians, especially those in his course, is one of the best things about these years in the Madrid seminary. "It is there that friendships are forged and during my time away from the seminary they have given me life. How important it is to surround yourself with good people who love you," he says.  

Although he missed a little more cultural activity during these years, he is grateful, however, for how the seminary has managed to insert him into what will be the future of his life, with the practices in the parishes on weekends.

A diocese with great spiritual strength and its ordination

"But I must confess that any preparation falls short of the challenge we face when we leave. One very positive thing is that we are fortunate to live in a diocese with a lot of spiritual strength and it is impressive to perceive it in the youth meetings, diverse charisms, very lively parishes, etc.".

And after these seven years, the big day came: his priestly ordination (although the diaconate was also very beautiful. Javier tells us about his experience:

"From the priestly ordination I remember very vividly the joy of the people who have always accompanied us.. It helps us to remember how important it is to receive from God the gift of ordination and, personally, if that was the joy of my loved ones, it helped me to imagine what Jesus' joy would be like to see us accept such an important vocation."

This was the thought that he pondered throughout his ordination: "How much I was looking forward to pleasing Jesus with all this. And I asked him and his Mother to be faithful forever, never to fail in this commitment of love that had only just begun.

javier pastor3

A shocking moment

A striking and beautiful moment was the consecration of the ordination. "We were the ordinands, the friends of my class, surrounding the altar and concelebrating with the Cardinal. Seeing their faces and thinking that we were born for this was one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. My desire to bring Jesus to the whole world, to bring him to earth to give light and peace, grew much more."

And then his first Mass, which is also a very moving moment. "From the first Mass I remember my voice cracking at the words of the consecration. It is difficult to explain what is going through the priest's head at that moment. The words are practically said unconsciously, because more than understanding them, you contemplate them. More than pronouncing them, you listen to them. I hope that no routine can extinguish this flame of living love".

javier pastor4

A young priest in the neighborhood of Vallecas

And what is life like for a young priest in the Madrid neighborhood of Vallecas? Javier is assigned to the pastoral unit of the parish of El Buen Pastor y Nuestra Señora del Consuelo.

"The only infallible resource to reach the people is to ask God with names and surnames for the people of my parish and to love them very much, even better than they expect to be loved. The challenge here is not that they know how to love Jesus, but that we priests know how Jesus wants them. In this way we do not impose our criteria and God's people truly draw closer to their Lord".

"But beyond this," Javier continues, "I can say something about my experience: sport has helped me win people to God; to share with the young people amusements, hobbies or even to learn them with them, to speak about the truth of the Gospel without deceit, but with much patience and prudence; to promote confession and to explain well the signs and moments of the Mass, so that they do not get bored, but are filled with affection because they know it better... With the older people I must admit that my age makes me almost all the work. I am a mixture between their father and their grandson. All it takes is a smile, listening to what they say and praying a rosary together.

javier pastor5

The priest of the 21st century

And in a Spain so secularized and with a shortage of vocations, how should a priest of the 21st century be, how can he reach people, especially young people? Javier does not believe that being a priest today is more difficult than in other times.

"I fear success much more than failure. The great virtue of the Word of God is humility. Y the present times are a good breeding ground for the humility of priests. In this way, we will take up the challenges, the parishes to revive and the hearts to heal with greater purity," he says.

This young priest has seen firsthand hand the power of ideologies in young people of the 21st century. "It is very frustrating to see people living in lies and suffering because they cannot open their eyes. But this also helps us to put hope only in God and his preciously entrusted Church, not in a church full of works of art, buildings it cannot fill and dignities that no one recognizes anymore."

Acknowledgments to the CARF Foundation

Finally, he is grateful for the work of the CARF Foundation and its benefactors: "The work of the CARF Foundation is the closest thing to the Eucharist that I know: few see what really happens, the miracle is impressive, but it costs the shedding of small drops of blood and sweat of a good handful of people with an impressive love for Jesus and his Church. Only faith can bring about something like this.

For this reason, for him, collaborating with the formation of priests is, however, the best investment one can make: he earns heaven for himself (as Jesus says in Mt 10:42) and invests in the best way to make a better world by drowning evil in an abundance of good.

"We priests must be very literate, because it is not only that lies are rampant, but also that few believe in the truth. It is no longer enough to communicate the truth with homilies, but it is very urgent a formation to communicate the truth in an attractive, beautiful and close way", concludes the youngest priest in Spain.

Marta SantínJournalist specializing in religious information.

Mauricio, from Brazil: from dreaming of the NBA to fulfilling God's will

Mauricio, a 25-year-old seminarian from Brazil, tells us his testimony. "My name is Mauricio Silva de Andrade, I was born on March 30, 1997. I am the only son of Luiz Claudio Ferreira de Andrade and Flavia Souza da Silva, since my mother lost a baby still in gestation.

We moved in 2001 to Campo Grande, capital of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, because my father is in the military. I grew up and lived in that city until I moved to Rome.

Good examples 

"At home I always had good examples. My parents were hard-working and much loved by all, great role models for my life. However, although most of my family is Christian - I was baptized at the age of one in the Catholic Church, During my childhood we didn't use to go to church, only occasionally, at the invitation of friends of my parents, who were also Protestants. We rarely prayed together at home.

He preferred soccer to catechism 

"When I was about 9 years old I began to teach catechism classes, but I confess that, as the talks were on Saturday afternoon, I preferred to be with friends playing soccer. I missed many days and hardly did the activities proposed to do at home. I had no interest in attending Mass either, it all seemed very boring to me. Therefore, I finally dropped out of catechesis and did not receive my First Communion.

At that time I had very critical ideas about the Church, because in my mind faith was something mythological and unconnected to real life, mere superstition, and I looked down on religious people with a certain contempt. How far I was from being a seminarian from Brazil". 

The loss of my father, the world from a different perspective

"Gradually, as I matured, I was still very young and with a very limited view of the world, I set out to have a less pejorative concept of religion. What definitely brought about a change in my life was the death of my father in a car accident. I was only 12 years old. He was a good, loving man, everybody loved him... So I wondered where he had gone after he passed away, and if everything he had done in his life would have made sense.

And that's when I began to see the world from another perspective and religion stopped being something negative. I set out to read books on Catholic doctrine to find the answers to my questions".

Mauricio Silva de Andrade, seminarian from Brazil

In this image Mauricio, a seminarian from Brazil, is shown with the prayer group of his university classmates, where his path to God took a providential turn.


An encounter with a permanent deacon

"One day, on my way home and passing a chapel, I hitchhiked and met a permanent deacon who lived in my neighborhood. Surprisingly, he asked me if I had received catechesis and I answered that I had, when I was a child, but I dropped out because I was not interested.

After my response, he kindly invited me to participate in religion classes with young people my age who were preparing for Confirmation. I accepted the invitation. This time I had a very different attitude, I committed myself and, finally, I received the Eucharist and Confirmation".

Admiration for Catholic doctrine 

"That training awakened in me a great admiration for Catholic doctrine, so much so that after receiving the sacraments, I never stopped attending Sunday Mass. In addition, I did not give up my prayer groups with young people, I prayed the rosary and tried to attend retreats. Everything related to the Church generated a great interest in me. I made new friends who helped me a lot and still help me grow in faith."

Sports and basketball: the dream of my life

"When I finished high school (I was in a military center) I went to college, still not being clear about what I really wanted.because my only personal project was to play basketball: I dreamed of making it to the NBA.

I enrolled in law school at Don Bosco Catholic University. I knew that I would have the chance to play basketball there because I sometimes trained with the university team. As a kid I was part of the Don Bosco College team, both Salesian institutions. It didn't even cross my mind to be a seminarian. As the years went by, this dream came up against reality: I realized that it was unfeasible, as was becoming a professional athlete".

Discovering God at the University 

"It was in college where my walk with God took another, now more radical, turn. Despite the challenges of the university environment, which is often influenced by skepticism and religious indifferentism, it is still a very challenging environment.In the general Brazilian scenario of great promiscuity, the Catholic University allowed me to grow a lot in faith.

We students were given the opportunity to participate in Holy Mass twice a week, and we could also attend adoration before the Blessed Sacrament in the University chapels, where a youth prayer group met once a week. Hunger for the Eucharist grew in me, as well as the desire to go to confession more often".

Maturing in faith 

"However, as I explained before, I was a young man who did not have a defined life project. I left law school and changed course. I started a new cycle in administration at the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul. There I also joined a weekly prayer group with students. There I made excellent friendships, which brought me closer to God. We created a Catholic study group in the university library, which bore good fruits.

My path was becoming clearer. Mauricio, from dreaming of the NBA, to fulfilling God's will as a seminarian from Brazil".

Mauricio Silva de Andrade, a seminarian from Brazil, with the youth prayer group.

Mauricio with a youth prayer group.


"When I was 12 years old, my father died and I began to wonder where I should be. Thanks to a providential encounter, I took up catechesis again and, as a teenager, I received the Eucharist and Confirmation. Now I am a seminarian. 


Our Lady of Mount Carmel: the most important day

"On June 16, 2019, the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, I attended a Latin Mass for the first time with my group of college friends. My intention was to receive the imposition of the scapular and to learn a little more about this liturgy, which was something new to me and which aroused my curiosity.

At the end of the Mass I met a diocesan seminarian, now a priestwho invited me to visit the seminary. I finally accepted, a little out of curiosity, but also because of that restlessness I had inside me about the things of God".

Testimony of love for the priesthood 

"Subsequently, I signed up for vocational meetings and to familiarize myself with the seminary environment. In my parish I had contact with Salesian seminarians, some of whom are my friends to this day, even though some have left the seminary.

One factor that caught my attention was the testimony of the seminary's priest formators, his love for the priesthood, his piety and zeal in the celebration of the Eucharist. My mind was opened and I understood the priesthood in a new way, so much so that I began to seriously question whether God was calling me on this path, whether my vocation was the priesthood, although I was very hesitant and fearful of such a great and demanding mission".

Seminarian, a thoughtful decision 

"After many vocational meetings, frequent visits to the seminary, a year of spiritual direction and quite a few questions - a process that took about a year and a half - I made the decision to enter the seminary. I was not certain that I wanted to become a priest, but I had a deep desire to do God's will in my life, trusting to be where the Lord wanted me to be, which gave me a lot of serenity.

My decision was meditated: I left the school of administration in the second year and the paid internship I had. And this a few months after having been approved in five public competitions for internships and being already an intern at the Court of Justice of the State of Mato Grosso do Sul with another year and a half of contract. So, I left everything to fulfill God's will".

From dreaming of the NBA to the University of the Holy Cross 

"I entered the propaedeutic seminary of the Archdiocese of Campo Grande in 2018, and, with the permission of my bishop, I also began my studies in Philosophy that same year. It was a very intense and challenging time, I was studying Philosophy and continuing with seminary activities and studies. At the end of 2020, having finished my philosophy course, my bishop proposed me to continue my studies and formation process in the Eternal City, which was a great surprise, but also a great honor and joy to be offered this opportunity.

I spoke with my mother, my spiritual director and formators and said yes to the bishop. In October 2021 and with some difficulties due to the pandemic, I finally had the grace of residing at Sedes Sapientiae International Ecclesiastical College and the privilege of beginning my theological studies at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, where I am now in my second year of the Bachelor of Theology.

Mauricio, seminarian thanks to benefactors

"As you have seen, my life, like all lives, is made up of providential encounters. And providential is the help of my benefactors of the CARF Foundation, not only in a financial sense - because I am here thanks to you - but also because of your prayer and spiritual closeness, something fundamental for any seminarian and priest in the world.Muito ObrigadoMauricio, a seminarian from Brazil.


Gerardo Ferrara
BA in History and Political Science, specializing in the Middle East.
Responsible for the student body at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.


An unexpected encounter on the Camino de Santiago

"I had long wanted to do the Camino de Santiago with Cristina, my wife, when another couple, an expert in hiking, told us that at the end of May they wanted to do the so-called English Way, which goes from Ferrol to Santiago. It is a little more than a hundred kilometers, and they had already planned the route, the lodgings and the help with the luggage, with a company that by cab picks up the suitcases in your hotel and deposits them in the next one.

For my age, recently retired, it was a very interesting option, because I avoided carrying a lot of weight in my backpack, which is a relief when you walk so many kilometers. In addition, if at some point your strength weakens, or you have some impediment that does not let you walk, they can come to pick you up and take you to the next meeting point.

With these premises, we did not hesitate to embark on the adventure, and we booked our plane tickets to A Coruña and back from Santiago to Barcelona, where we live.

The days of the Camino de Santiago were divided into five sections. The first, about 19 kilometers, from El Ferrol to Pontedeume; and the next, another 20 kilometers, to Betanzos. In both towns we were able to participate in the Mass, which is usually celebrated in the afternoon.

In the third stage, things started to get complicated, because from Betanzos to Mesón do Vento was a journey of more than 25 kilometers with a great slope. Arriving at the destination, we had no church where we could attend Mass, so we arranged a cab to take us back to Betanzos to participate in the one celebrated at half past seven, and then return us back to Mesón do Vento. Now somewhat more rested, we were able to have a good dinner and regain strength because, the next day, we also had a long way to walk.

path 2

Already looking forward to the penultimate route, we left the next day to Sigüeiro, another 25 kilometers with its good slopes of ups and downs, but somewhat more bearable than the previous section and with landscapes of eucalyptus forests and fields about to mow.

The truth is that we arrived in Sigüeiro exhausted but happy. Cristina ended up with a sore foot and we decided that the last stretch to Santiago, just 16 kilometers, she would be taken by cab to a kilometer before and there she would join us who were walking the last part of the route. We arranged to meet at the Church of San Cayetano, which is at that distance from the center and which crosses the route of the English Way of St. James.

A little before noon we met at the parish of San Cayetano. It was already closing and the parish priest did not have time to stamp the parish seal on our already well-filled Compostela, but we greeted the Lord and thanked him for all the good Camino we had had. The truth is that it did not rain a single day and the heat, although it was hot, did not prevent us from completing the stages happily.

Right at the door of the parish, two young Kenyan men were leaning against the stone wall, as they told us, and we asked them to take a picture of the whole group. They spoke Spanish and their kind disposition made us engage in a quick conversation.

- Hello, good morning, what do you do?

- We are helping the pastor, since we are seminarians.

- Look, how nice! Well, we collaborate with a foundation that helps the studies of seminarians, which is called CARF Foundation.

- What do you say! Well, we are studying in Bidasoa. So, thank you very much for your help and collaboration.

The joy and surprise was great, and from that moment on, an enormous empathy was generated. Serapion (Serapion Modest Shukuru) and Faustin (Faustin Menas Nyamweru), both from Tanzania, accompanied us on the last stretch.

path 3

Then Serapion told us that he is already in his fourth year and Faustin in his first year. They showed us the Pilgrim's office, where they just put the last seal and certify your Camino, which also certifies the possibility of gaining the plenary indulgence that this pilgrimage implies, as long as the rest of the conditions of the Church are fulfilled.

Once again moved, we bid farewell to both of them, wishing them to be very faithful and to do much good when they arrive in their place of origin to be ordained priests, after their period of formation at the Bidasoa Seminar.

We are left with the wonderful memory of this chance encounter, and of having received the gratitude of these two seminarians who, with the help of all the benefactors of the CARF Foundation, can reach many souls wherever they carry out their ministerial work.

In the afternoon, we were able to participate in the Mass in the cathedral, giving thanks to the apostle and enjoying the swaying of the botafumeiro that raised to heaven with the smell of incense, all our intentions and gratitude for the vocation of Serapion and Faustin".

Fernando de Salas, Sant Cugat del Vallés.

"The priest must be a friend of Christ."

Before meeting the Lord and discovering his priestly vocation, he thought that happiness came from having a ball at his feet, like so many young men in his country. His father, Vincent, was not very religious. His mother was more so and taught him the basics of the faith from an early age, although the Church did not appeal to him at all. But that Mass changed everything. He could hear God speaking to him.

Then, he began to take the Christian life seriously. He started going to Mass more often. He entered a Chrism course, received the sacrament of Confirmation and began to help in the parish as a catechist and preacher in a prayer group.

"Jesus Christ was what made me happy."

Little by little he discovered that it was Jesus Christ who gave fullness to his life and made him truly happy. Until then he had never considered his priestly vocation, but his pastoral work in the parish made him realize that the people needed shepherds.

"I had a deep conversation with my parish priest and began my vocational journey. After two years of participating in vocational meetings, I discerned my priestly vocation and my path to happiness. To make Jesus Christ known and to make people friends of God is the mission I hope to carry out throughout my life".

The Bidasoa International Seminar, a blessing

After studying philosophy at the Pontifical University of Rio de Janeiro, his bishop sent him to finish his studies at the Bidasoa International Seminary and in the Faculties of Ecclesiastical Studies of the University of Navarra. There he had the opportunity to experience the richness of the Universal Church, living with seminarians from different countries. "It is like living a new Pentecost.

For Franklyn, Bidasoa is a blessing for his priestly formation. He received a very good formation that allowed him to grow in friendship with Christ and to mature in his priestly vocation.

Fostering priestly vocations among young people

As Pope Francis says, we are living through a "change of epoch". Many young people are distanced from God and the Church. "If we want to foster priestly vocations," says Franklyn, "it is imperative that the people pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers. Priests must witness to the beauty of the priestly vocation. A priest of the 21st century must be first and foremost a friend of Christ, who witnesses, with his life, to his love for the Church and for souls".

Secularization and evangelization

In Brazil, secularization and the irruption of Protestantism threaten the life of the Catholic Church. "Today more than ever, the Church has the obligation to announce the good news of Jesus Christ, to promote the encounter of young people with the Person of Jesus, so that they may discover in Him the sure path to happiness". In the face of secularization, Franklyn proposes to live the faith as witnesses of the Risen One and, in the face of Protestantism, to present the truth of the faith.

"The most important apostolic needs of Rio de Janeiro are: the personal conversion of each Christian and, from there, to promote an evangelization that presents all the richness and truth that Jesus Christ entrusted to the Catholic Church".

Marta Santín Journalist specializing in religious information.