The last months have been extremely difficult. We all witnessed an enormous amount of suffering all around us.
Nevertheless, in the midst of this chaos, one thing was very clear to me, the best contribution I could give to the people was to share and to announce the only real answer to the experience of pain I have ever received in my life – the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and His triumph over Death.
Personally, never, as in this year, have I felt the urgency to announce how Christ made the void left by the death of my father when I was a child, a beautiful place where I found the tender fatherhood of God.
Therefore, when I heard about a mission of evangelization in the streets of the United States, inspired by the Gospel in which Jesus Christ sends the disciples two by two, without carrying money, food, or an extra tunic, I knew God was calling me to participate.
Today I want to share with you how beneficial this experience was for my priestly vocation!
By lottery, I was sent to Manchester, NH, together with two other young men. We were dropped off on Sunday, July 5th with the agreement to be picked up the following Sunday, July 12th.
Exactly as the disciples, we did not carry any money, food, or even a change of clothes – no cellphone either! The only things we had when we got off the van were a Bible, a Rosary and the certainty we were going to see with our own eyes the Providence of God!
As a matter of fact, God did not disappoint us! After the first four days and nights spent on the streets, eating and sleeping very little, but at the same time rejoicing in announcing Jesus Christ to the homeless and drug addicts, we saw God leading us to meet a young family with three children.
It was Thursday in the evening when we read a note on the parish hall door saying, “Widows and Widowers Support Ministry.” Because my 26-year-old companion lost both of his parents at an early age and I, too, lost my father when I was young, we immediately thought that God had brought us there to give our testimony to these people. After listening to us, the coordinator of the group (a married woman with three kids) was so happy that she begged us to go to her house to meet her family. After twenty minutes on the phone trying to convince her husband to welcome three strangers, we finally were given a ride to their house. They prepared a beautiful barbecue for us, allowed us to take a shower and gave us three comfortable beds to sleep in for the night!
The following morning, we woke up with the smell of eggs and bacon which the husband had prepared for us! After breakfast we decided to pray the psalms of the Morning Prayer with the whole family. This was the moment in which we clearly saw that the Providence of God had sent us there. The woman told us that during the night she could not fall asleep, so she got up and grabbed her Bible. Just as St. Francis would do, she opened the Bible by chance looking to receive a word from the Lord. Her finger fell on the Gospel of Luke Chapter 10: The sending of the disciples two by two!!!! This was a confirmation for her that God was visiting her through us!
We stayed there for three days during which the woman called over many family members and friends so that they could listen to us announcing Christ to them!
Sunday morning, July 12th, the family hugged us and said, “We touched Christ in these days! You guys have changed our life!”
I came back home celebrating the faithfulness of God when 13 years ago He told me: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mt. 4:19)
My name is Andrea Povero. I was born in a town called Ivrea, close to Turin, Italy.
I am almost 33 years old and I am the last one of 4 children.
When I decided to enter the seminary, I chose to enter into a “missionary seminary.” I went to a retreat close to Rome and there, together with 300 young men, I put my name into a basket. In another basket were the names of the all the missionary seminaries around the world. When my name was pulled from one basket, it was matched with the name “Boston” from the other basket.
I was sent to Boston in November 2007. I became a priest by the grace of God on May 19, 2018.
For the past two years I have been the Parochial Vicar of three parishes: St. Thomas Aquinas and Our Lady of Lourdes in Jamaica Plain and Saint Mary of the Angels in Roxbury.