Turin, Italy, 5 November 2019 -- Brother Piero Ramello, 55 years of age, is among the 3 new missionaries sent by the Rector Major to our Region in 2019. Two practical trainees were sent to Mongolia and Br. Piero to the Delegation of Pakistan. We are grateful for his frank and deep sharing in this interview.
What was your path of faith and vocation?
I was born in a family of deep Christian faith, but also from my school and parish community I received a lot of Christian life witness. The dream and desire to become a Salesian came about little by little. At 17 years of age I joined the Salesian aspirantate at Valdocco, Turin, where I discovered my Salesian Brother vocation.
You were born close to Turin, how were you attracted by Don Bosco?
I was born at Vinovo, a few kilometers from Turin. At Lombriasco, a small town near Vinovo, I got to know the Salesians when my parents enrolled me in the Salesian high school, where my elder brother was already studying. In Don Bosco school I was attracted by the family spirit, the study environment was not too heavy. Then I continued on to the senior high school.
What fills your heart with joy as a Salesian?
For sure I’m happy to be with the young people, they loved me also so much. From them I’m learning a lot. Their growth in maturity makes me happy. Then I enjoy the affection of my confreres. And there is overall the delicate (and sometimes also hidden) presence of God who reveals Himself with expectation especially through some events over time!
How did you discern your Salesian missionary vocation?
I believe that the first seeds of a missionary vocation was a good night talk at 6 years of age given by one Piedmontese Salesian who had just returned from Egypt. And the immediate impulse was the 2016 annual missionary appeal of the Rector Major. I immediately approached my provincial who helped me understand that for us Salesians this is the ‘vocation within a vocation’ and it’s not just about simple availability or response to the RM’s appeal. Then I started discernment with the help of the Word of God. I have discovered some Scripture passages about the growth of the Kingdom of God and about the call of the disciples for the spread of the Gospel. These words vibrated in my heart. In the end, after a few days of retreat and talks with some spiritual guides in February 2019 I submitted my missionary application to the Rector Major.
How was your new missionary course before the 150th Salesian missionary expedition?
I have already received the missionary cross on 29th of September. It was a good time to get know the other 35 new and mostly young Salesian missionaries from all continents. Now I’m going through a 10 week formation course at the UPS (Salesian Pontifical University) in Rome. It’s a very interesting experience with a variety of mission-related subjects, like psychology, anthropology, Holy Scripture, History of the Missions, Youth Ministry and obviously Missiology.
Now you are officially a member of the Pakistan delegation under the FIS province. How do you prepare for this new step in your life?
Aside from the UPS ongoing missionary course, I spend time studying English and Urdu. Now and then I also visit the Boscolink website (www.bosco.link) to understand something about my new family and I have also started a frequent communication via Facebook and email with one missionary in Pakistan who is helping me to know something about my new country, its youth and cultures.