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Giuseppe Lacerenza will be ordained Priest

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Deacon Giuseppe Lacerenza, a member of the religious family of the Society of St. Paul, will be ordained a priest on Saturday, June 12, 2021, in the Co-cathedral Basilica in Barletta at 6:00 p.m., during a solemn concelebration presided over by Archbishop Monsignor Leonardo D'Ascenzo.

The celebration will be televised live by Tele Dehon on channel 18 and on the digital facebook and youtube channels of the same station.

Don Giuseppe will preside over his first Eucharistic celebration on Sunday, June 13 at 12 noon, at the Holy Family church in Barletta.

The following is Don Giuseppe's vocational testimony given to the diocesan periodical "In Comunione".

"My name is Giuseppe Lacerenza, I am from Barletta and I belong to the Holy Family Church, where I received all the sacraments from Baptism to Confirmation. I am currently a religious aspirant to the priesthood of the Society of St. Paul, a religious institute founded by Blessed James Alberione with the mission of living and giving to the world Jesus Master Way, Truth and Life through  the different languages of communication, from the press to the digital world. Next March 14 I will take my perpetual religious vows, and for this occasion I would like to share with you my vocational journey.

It all began in 2007, at the age of 33. At that time I was working as a civil engineer, but suddenly God entered the scene: a "special engineer" who drew up a plan for my life different from the one I had prepared, and asked me to view it with Him, approve it and put it into action.

By sowing some "signs" - traces of His Will - in my personal history The Lord, allowed me to recognize that He was calling me to follow Him more closely in the consecrated life.

The first sign came through the words of Don Francesco Fruscio, who at that time was vice-parish priest of the Holy Family Church. After confession, Don Francesco asked me a question that amazed me: Joseph, what are you waiting for? Don't waste any more time and offer your life to the Lord by becoming a priest.

I had never thought about this possibility. I had already given a direction to my life, and at that age it was unthinkable to start from scratch; moreover, my shy character contrasted with the mission of priest, which is to announce the Gospel of Christ with joy and boldness As I was leaving the church, thinking about the words of the confessor, the image of me consecrated to the Lord surfaced in my mind and I began to feel an incomprehensible inner joy.

It was as if Don Francesco had blown on the ashes, making a burning fire flare up. I could not understand what was happening to me. I prayed to God saying: Lord, if it is Your Will that I consecrate myself to you in the priesthood, make me understand it in the way you see fit.

After two weeks I met a Franciscan priest, Father Bernardino Bucci, who gave me two books written by him: the biography of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta and a book on the Divine Will. I recognized in this event the Lord's answer to my prayer to make His Will known to me, and I began to collaborate with this priest by making books and videos on the life and spirituality of the Servant of God.

Every now and then, however, an interior movement made the idea of a life consecrated to God surface in me. It was not a personal desire but an incomprehensible feeling that emerged and that I tried to reduce with various motivations. However, I was aware that I was receiving numerous spiritual treasures, and I felt the Lord getting closer and closer.

After some time I went on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, and the day before I returned home I prayed again to the Lord to manifest His Will to me and to give me a very clear sign that would leave no more doubts in my heart.

We could call it a simple coincidence or Godʼs prompt response, but the result was that after only two days I met the director of the publishing house Shalom. He was struck by my enthusiasm for the work of spreading the spirituality of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. In fact, he proposed me to collaborate with them. I felt that this was a further answer of the Lord to my prayer and so I proposed a long-distance collaboration. An exciting experience began, which I cannot define as a job but an immense source of spiritual riches. The culmination of this was a request from the publisher Shalom to write a biography on Blessed James Alberione, founder of ten religious institutes, including the Society of St. Paul. Surprised and fearful that I would not succeed in obtaining a good result, I prayed to the Lord to guide me in this new commitment and began to study the life, works and charismatic texts of Fr.

While I was writing the book, I identified with the figure of the Pauline religious and apostle, and I felt that Fr. Alberione's invitation to do the charity of Truth to all, taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth with the most modern and effective means of communication was directed to me.

When I finished writing the book, recognizing that I received many answers from the Lord, I decided to begin a journey of vocational discernment in the Pauline house in Bari, where I had the opportunity to learn more about Pauline spirituality and apostolate. While continuing to practice my work as an engineer, I began theological studies, and after discernment and novitiate, I made my First Religious Profession on October 1, 2016. I made Perpetual Profession on October 5, 2020, and was ordained a deacon on October 24 of the same year.

I am currently living in the Pauline house in Cinisello Balsamo, where I am continuing my journey to the priesthood and, following the example of St. Paul, I am carrying out my apostolate in the Society of St. Paul to bring Christ andH message of salvation to todayʼs culture of communication.

As a religious of the Society of St. Paul and as a soon-to-be priest, I hope to enter more and more into a relationship with God, through listening to His Word and dialoguing with Him in prayer, living in a spirit of gratitude for all the graces He continues to grant me. My desire is therefore to live in Christ and to

As a Pauline apostle-communicator, I feel the desire to communicate the Gospel with the specific charism of my institute, the Society of St. Paul, whose mission is to evangelize in the culture of communication, that is, using all the languages of communication available to man thanks to technology: the press, television, radio, digital environments... Our founder, Blessed James Alberione, said that we Paulines have the world as our parish, and therefore through the various means of communication we bring the Gospel to millions of people. This is a charism that today, more than yesterday, is highly relevant, and which reflects Pope Francis' invitation to be an 'outgoing Church' to bring Christ to today's existential peripheries."


Source: Newsletter of the Diocesan Press Office and Social Communications - Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie

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