Seminarian feels the need to give back to the Lord

By 
  • April 17, 2007
TORONTO - It was an overwhelming sense of gratitude that  caused Giuseppe Scollo to give up his family and life in Sisley, Italy to follow his call to the priesthood.
“What makes me go is this gratitude. Everything I received, I received freely, so I feel inside the urge to give back to the Lord,” said Scollo. “That’s what (causes) this desire to go wherever I’m called to go.”

In 1997, at the age of 19, Scollo moved to Toronto to attend Redemptoris Mater Seminary run by the Neo Catechumenal Way, an international lay movement.

Before his move, he had no idea what Canada was like.

“I’d never heard of Toronto. I thought of the penguins right away and I said ‛mama mia.’ ”

Scollo said his parents, particularly his father, played a major role in his call and initial faith formation.

At 15, Scollo joined the Neo Catechumenal Way, five years after his parents had joined the movement.  

“I joined because I saw changes in (my parents),” he said. “They stopped fighting and asked for   forgiveness.”    

God gave his father the courage to start praying before meals and praying with the family in the morning, said Scollo.

“God worked through me, through my father’s conversion.”

Scollo attended Euro Hope in 1995, a parallel event to World Youth Day for Europeans who could not attend the WYD gathering in Manila, Philippines. It was there that he experienced a deep, yet simple joy.  

“I can’t compare this joy with the kind of joy you get from a party or club.”

After Euro Hope, Scollo decided that in order to believe he needed proof of God’s existence, so he put God’s word to the test.

He zeroed in on the teaching that if you give you will receive and devoted himself to helping a friend pass a physics test. His friend ended up getting a good mark and Scollo gained a new friend, which for him was a confirmation of God’s promise.

Another confirmation was that each time Scollo opened up the Bible at random, the passage fit Scollo’s context.

“I kept putting the Word of God to the test until I started feeling a vocation.”

By the time World Youth Day rolled around again in 1997, Scollo flew to Paris to attend. He found it confirmed to him that he was called to the priesthood.  

Scollo will be ordained a priest for the archdiocese of Toronto this May.

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