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Transitional deacons share vocation stories

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Three preparing for ordination to priesthood June 3
By Josh Tng

Three transitional deacons will be ordained as priests for the Archdiocese of Vancouver June 3. Here are brief profiles of Deacons Juan Lucca, Giovanni Schiesari, and Francesco Voltaggio, who share their calling to the priesthood.

(BCC File Photo)

Deacon Juan Lucca

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Deacon Lucca came to Canada in 2000 with his family. He began his spiritual journey at the Seminary of Christ the King in Mission.

“Since I was young I have felt drawn towards the priesthood, and looking back I now see multiple reasons,” Deacon Lucca said. “Besides the quiet and constant call of God heard only in the silence of my heart, the priesthood was revealed to me by my family and by the priests in my life.”

His family and priests displayed a “joyful and sacrificial life” that appealed to Deacon Lucca. “They taught me by their utmost reverence the greatness of the Mass and gave me a great love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.”

For individuals considering their vocations, Deacon Lucca said this: “One can get caught up in many thoughts, feelings, and emotions during discernment, but the main point we have to come back to again is that a vocation is a calling, a relationship. Unless we know and are familiar with the shepherd, we will have a hard time recognizing his voice and finding the courage to follow with a joyful surrender.”

“In the beginning of our journey, it is of greatest importance to find a good spiritual director who is familiar with the ways of God.”

(BCC File Photo)

Deacon Giovanni Schiesari

Deacon Schiesari was born in Northern Italy and grew up in a large family. “As you can probably imagine, it is not easy to be part of a large family,” he recounted. “Along with many joyful moments and the assurance of never being left alone, at times I experienced precariousness and difficulties.”

He often felt jealously towards his older siblings, “to the point of even feeling a hatred against them. I thought my parents loved them more than they loved me.” These thoughts of doubt led him to “think that God made a mistake with my life” and “that God is not love.”

However, Deacon Schiesari’s struggles with his family subsided after joining the Neocatechumenal Way, a Catholic charism centered on Christian formation. There experience taught him to rely on God. “He is the only one who can give true freedom and free me from the lies the devil put into my head.”

With God’s help, Deacon Schiesari found himself asking for his parents and siblings’ forgiveness. “I could see that it wasn’t true that they did not love me and that my siblings were my enemies. This was the most powerful spiritual moment of my life!”

Afterwards, his life completely changed and he decided to attend a missionary seminary at age 17. “God brought me to follow him as a diocesan missionary priest” by giving “freedom through the forgiveness of my sins.”

“For those who are thinking of entering the seminary or following God, be true to your heart and find out where God is calling you to,” said Deacon Schiesari. “Once you know that, follow him with all your heart and everything will be a blessing in your life.”


(BCC File Photo)

Deacon Francesco Voltaggio

Deacon Voltaggio was born in Rome to a Catholic family. “My parents gave me a lot; they took care of everything materialistically speaking,” recounted Deacon Voltaggio. “I was spoiled in many ways. But even though I had everything, I never thought I’d become a priest. I looked for happiness in the world.”

He said said he was “unable to find my way,” and joined the Neocatechumenal Way, There he came to realize happiness could be found in God.

“Thanks to the Neocatechumenal Way, an itinerary of Christian formation, I was given the grace to be part of an ongoing journey of faith with that small community,” Deacon Voltaggio said. “By the grace of God, I saw the Lord was calling me back. I experienced God as a father, as love, as forgiveness.”

The ordinations will take place at noon on Saturday, June 3, at Holy Rosary Cathedral.



Last Updated on Friday, 26 May 2017 10:37  

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