Saint Therese, help me find my vocation


unnamedI met Shalom Community in 1998.That is when it was founded in the city where I lived, in Mossoró (A city in the northeast of Brazil). A providential meeting at the right time and in the way God wanted it to be.

A few months before this encounter, the shrine of Saint Therese was passing through town and I went with a friend from school to see it. I had had an experience with the Holy Spirit in a weekend retreat, but I left behind what I had been through. I remember it caught my attention when they said that Saint Therese had discovered her vocation at the age of 15 years old because it was my age at the time.

So I prayed: “Saint Therese, help me find my vocation”. I realized later that this prayer was heard. Everything happened inside of me without prior warning.

In that same year, I discovered the community Shalom and started going to a prayers group.  I did not even imagine, at the time, that I had found my vocation. I just kept living with what God gave me. After I had left and returned to the group, I created the School of Young Leaders, and there, the Lord started to convince me to actually leave everything behind and to follow him in the Life Community of Shalom.

I did my vocational preparation year and I remember the Sunday meetings, where the sun looked like it was shining differently. It was like a fire that grew inside of me, convincing me to answer to his call, to perform his Will.

            That year, I was also studying to enter college. I got my results in my vocational retreat. I had been admitted in Federal University of Paraíba. At that retreat, God spoke strongly to me saying: “Who shall I send? Who will go for me?”.

And, at the age of 17 years old, in the year 2000, I entered the community, happy to offer my best perfumes to God, my youth for the church and for men who haven`t met Him yet.

Today I am a priest at Shalom’s life community and I am truly and profoundly happy to be Shalom, for having been chosen, to be a clay pot, weak, but bearer of the magnificent treasure of His charisma and His presence.

There is no need to be scared of God`s calling. He does not take away anything that makes life beautiful and noble, but He gives everything: Himself, our Peace. It is worth it to hear and respond to the voice of God. It is worth it to deliver everything for finding this incredible treasure that is His heart, which is His Holy Will!Pe.

Leonardo Donelles
Shalom catholic community missionary


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