“They learned to behave on the defensive, but here they do not have to”
Why did you want to be a cure?
My father was a secretary of the Communist Party, and I was a communist until I was 16, when a Father who had worked in Peru came back to my hometown. I talked to him and ended up as an acolyte.
That must have caused a conflict at home!
Not really. At home, it was my mother and my grandmother who ruled; and my grandmother would pray even more than a priest. During World War II, my mom was head of conspiracy, and people respected her very much. I had no problems, as I was a seminarian, but my mother did; she missed the possibility of being decorated and getting better jobs because she was not a communist...
When I finished school, the Father approached me and suggested me to become a priest. It never crossed my mind, I even prayed to Mary Help of Christians so that he would never bring that up again. I liked girls and parties, but also the work of Salesian priests. When the Father asked me again, I said yes.
How did you come to Peru?
It was the same Father, Joseph Kurowski, who chose me. I became a priest to serve, to help.
What is the best thing about being a priest?
Being an instrument of God. You feel it when you serve those who come to Him through you. Juanito, for example, he was always repeating the year, and when he passed for the first time, he was so happy! Today, he is always among the best students. Why? Because these kids need an opportunity, and when you give it to them, they develop their potential. Here, we make Peru a better place, you know!