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Rome Reports

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"I didn't do just one retreat, I went through eight retreats before deciding.”

Vocational discernment often starts with a seed of doubt or a search for a greater truth. That was certainly the case for Br. Xavier Gutierrez at 16 years old, he started his own discernment process. 

He felt like something was missing in his life. In the quiet moments, he couldn't help but wonder what his greater purpose was. 

“I went to the retreat and I don't know what happened. There, for the first time in a long time, I felt that I wasn't lacking anything. I slept in peace, feeling calm. From that moment on, I said I have to find out what's happening there. What do these happy people have? What have they found that I haven't found?

The journey that followed was not a straightforward one. With the Legionaries of Christ, it is typical for a young person discerning to attend one vocational retreat and then a longer Candidacy program. Instead, Xavier felt he needed to do a lot more to be sure. 

"I didn't do just one retreat, I went through eight retreats before deciding. So, yes, I had thought it through quite well. I think I didn't want to let go of that life I had before. That is, until I got to a point where I said I'm being stupid. I realized I'm out there with everything I think I have and I feel that something is missing. But, then when I'm here I feel fuller and fuller. So I thought maybe this really is for me.”

Now, it has been12 years and he is a seminarian with the Legionaries of Christ. Xavier is currently studying in their International University in Rome. With others studying there, he hosts a YouTube channel called “Hablando en Cristiano” to spread Catholic teachings to young people.