CARF Foundation

10 May, 24

Tomás Licheri Seminarian CARF Foundation

Tomás Licheri, vocation to the priesthood

Tomas Licheri Bondesio tells us how a young religious seminarian of the Servants of the Home of the Mother lives his vocation. He is currently in Rome studying the first cycle of Philosophy at the PUSC (Pontifical University of the Holy Cross) thanks to the support of the CARF Foundation.

Born in Argentina in 2001, in a Catholic family that helped him to live the faith since he was a child: praying the rosary, going to Mass on Sundays, attending Catholic youth clubs, made Tomás live the faith closely. He is the eldest of seven siblings and the only boy. At the age of 16 he moved to the United States with his family. He tells us about his vocation to become a priest.

Moving to the United States

When she was 16 years old and because of her father's job, she moved to the United States, to a small town in South Florida called Ave Maria (Ave), founded by the Catholic philanthropist Tom Monaghanfounder of Domino's Pizza and of Ave Maria University (AMU), a private, Catholic university. "It's the one I chose to study at because it was close to what I wanted, a Catholic environment, being close to my family and minimal cost.". Tomás tells us.

The place was ideal to continue growing in faith, since it had daily Mass and Confession, a chapel for adoration, an atmosphere of students praying the rosary together, formation activities such as talks or praise and worship (Eucharistic Adoration with songs).

There were also recreational activities, sports tournaments, talent shows, plays, everything you can find on a university campus. All these activities always began and ended with a prayer and a Hail Mary. There was no lack of opportunities to live the faith at AMU. "The first year I didn't take advantage of them as much, but the following years I did.".

Tomas Licheri in search of a vocation

How I found my vocation to the priesthood

As a child he wanted to be a priest. Thomas tells us that when he was a child the doctor told him that he should eat more to gain height so that his children would be taller than him, to which he replied not to worry, he was going to be a priest. 

As time went by, that idea was erased from his mind. In his second year of college he fell in love with a girl with whom he had a relationship of almost two years. She went to study in another state, which caused the relationship to drift apart. "When we decided to leave him, I began to wonder if this relationship that was going relatively well ended because she wasn't the one, or if she was, because the Lord was asking me to do something else."says Tomás Licheri.

From that moment on he began to pray for his priestly vocation. He never sought to spend time living with priests, or missionary groups, or religious communities. He was not looking for a girlfriend or to meet more girls. He felt he was in the middle and didn't want to lean one way or the other. He stayed that way for almost two years, until his last semester in college.

Advice from his mother

His mother, who knows him well, suggested that he visit the university chaplain. Tomas knew him well, as he helped him as an altar boy every week. Following his mother's advice, he went to see him and the chaplain suggested spending the summer with a missionary group or a religious community.

It was then when he called a priest friend of the community Mother's Home (the Home), an organization he had known since 2018 thanks to a class friend. That year, Tomás signed up with his classmate for a summer camp as a monitor, thus getting to know this religious community in depth.

Following the chaplain's invitation, in the summer of 2023, he came to Spain to discern his vocation to become a priest. He spent two months with the religious community of the Hogar de la Madre. The lifestyle is very intense, following the Benedictine rule. ora et labora. There is Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, rosary, spiritual reading, time in silence from supper to breakfast to encourage meditation, and also work in the open air, in the garden, with the animals and other work. There he had spiritual direction that helped him to discern, along with other confreres.

Vocation to the priesthood, yes, but where? And with whom?

After a month, he saw clearly that the Lord was calling him to be a priest. But where, with whom? Thomas wondered. 

At a camp for boys between the ages of 9 and 16, which he attended as a monitor, he had a very special moment. One night, during a Eucharistic Adoration, a procession touched his soul and gave him the light he was looking for.

During the following days of the camp, he meditated on what the Lord was telling him. When the camp was over, he attended some talks with the religious brothers and other boys who were also discerning.  

Then, the topic of how to discern God's will in the most everyday moments of life came up. During a talk, a brother gave an example of the daily life of any father of a family and his dialogue with the Lord. "One father, before dinner, had a lot of work to do, but his six-year-old daughter asked him if he would play chess with her. The father took a minute and asked the Lord which gave him more peace: to continue working or to play chess with his daughter. Being with his daughter filled him with peace and it was then that he realized that the Lord wanted him to play with his daughter."

This example helped Thomas Licheri a lot. After Mass, he decided to ask the Lord what gave him the most peace and he saw quite clearly that the Lord was asking him to be in the Hogar. And so he entered the community. 

And now, traveling vocation in Rome

Tomás is studying the first year of Philosophy at the University of Santa Croce. Thanks to the help of CARF Foundation This opportunity has been made possible and he thanks us for all the generosity of all the benefactors. Watch the video of her testimony.

YouTube video

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


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