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Noé Servin (1): "I´m going to a land that I do not know, but that He does know and I know that He calls me to love it as He loves it"

Noé Servin (1): "I´m going to a land that I do not know, but that He does know and I know that He calls me to love it as He loves it"
29-01-2018 Otros Países
He will be one of the four founders of the first Augustinian Recollect community in Cuba starting next February. We spoke with Noé Servín Franco about this new task assumed by the Order with an international and interprovincial stature.
The Prior General of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Miguel Miró, announced on December 12th the names of the four religious who will make up the new community in the Cuban Diocese of Holguín. These are Jairo Gordillo, Noé Servín, Ismael Xuruc and Joel Naranja, who on February 3rd will travel from Panama to their new community in the Antilla parish.

Noé Servín (Guanajuato, Mexico, 1979) sent his letter on October 4, 2017, volunteering for this new mission: “I can only count with my good will and my deep trust in God who cares for all, this is why I dare to put myself in his disposition as a possible candidate to be part of this new community.” He is the only friar of the Province of San Nicholas of Tolentine going to Cuba as founder in the very beginning of this new mission for the Order of the Augustinian Recollects

Until now, Noé had been part of the community in “Ciudad de los Niños” (Boys Town) in the vicinity of Cartago (Costa Rica). While he prepared for his new mission and spending some days with his family, we wanted to listen to his testimony, his motives, his hopes and his desires as he´s about to begin this new service to the People of God in such a special place and of great novelty for our Order.

Please present yourself to our readers

I am the fifth of ten children, my parents, José and María Ascensión, are farm workers. I was born in 1979 in a small rural community called Naranjillo, in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico.

My first studies took place in my hometown. Since there was no high school in our community, it seemed as if though those were going to be all my studies. My parents could never afford paying any further studies schooling for me especially away from home. That year I dedicated my time to helping my family in the field. This gave me time to think about other ways of continuing with my education.

Since I was a young boy, I would consider being a priest, but for various reasons it stayed being a continuous desire.

While at middle school, I got some brochures in my hands from the Chapingo Autonomous University, an institution of Texcoco (State of Mexico) specializing in agricultural studies, I decided to apply for an admission test and with great sacrifice on behalf of my family, I was able to enter in 1995, when I was 16 years old.

I obtained a scholarship and I studied my high school and college career specializing in rural sociology. When I finished high school I thought about quitting to enter the seminary, but after consulting with my parents I made the decision to continue until I finished my career in Texcoco.

One year after finishing college, I began my vocational accompaniment and in 2004 I entered the St. Augustine Seminary of the Augustinian Recollects in Mexico City. On the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in 2007, I was told that I had been accepted into the novitiate which I started on August 9th, 2008, I professed my vows in Monteagudo (Spain), which, even though they were just temporary, I would repeat to myself: “Forever, forever”.

On September 8th, 2011 I made the solemn profession and on August 11 of the following year, on the day of St. Clare of Assisi, together with three other brothers, I was ordained by the Augustinian Recollect Bishop Carlos Briseño. On August 17th, the feast of St. Clare of Montefalco, I celebrated my first Holy Mass in my village joined by some Recollect brothers, family, friends and the humble people with whom I started growing in my love for Christ and His Church.

And now Cuba. Why?

While I was on vacations at home and on the day of St. Ezekiel Moreno, Father General sent a letter stating he would open a new Recollect community in Cuba. In that same letter, he invited those interested in serving in the island to send a petition letter to be part of this mission. I did not see this letter until I went to Queretaro on the day of St. Augustine to celebrate our patron saint.

Carlito Gomes, one of the religious in that community, jokingly asked me if I would volunteer for the Cuba and it took me by surprise.

From the first moment I considered the possibility of being part of that group of volunteers. However, after the first enthusiasm I felt, it calmed a little and I decided pray over the idea.

When I returned from my vacations, we had the annual spiritual exercises in Costa Rica, the whole week was a blessing from God inviting me to make a decision. I read and reread the letter and found myself face to face with only my limitations and compared them with the personal requirements Fr. General expected in those wanting to volunteer.

I found I only had two things: My willingness to go and God´s grace, and I believed that was more than enough to present myself as a possible candidate. Days later I sent the letter offering myself for the new mission.

How has this waiting period been and what are your expectations?

The whole permit process to go into the country depends on the bishop of Holguin, Emilio Aranguren. All I had to do is send a copy of my passport, so in that sense, it´s been easy on my behalf.

My expectations are the same ones the Order has; evangelize and live accordingly to the Augustinian Recollect charism which requires a spirit of commitment, prayer, confidence in God, an offering of self with enthusiasm and sacrifice. All this finds its strength in living the faith under the guidance of the Holy Spirit which is motivated in the Resurrection of Christ.

I kind of know the social and political reality in Cuba but independently from that reality, all I know is that my task is to create community with three other friars with whom we will share our lives as Augustinian Recollect brothers. We will try our best to be Church with our brothers and sisters of that diocese and its priests and members of other religious communities.

In reality, I ignore what the real situation is in the diocese we will work in and lately I haven´t asked many questions. The bishop sent us a welcoming letter on Christmas and I´m sticking to a suggestion he shared with us in that letter; it´s best just to wait and be there to experience it all personally.

I´m conscience of what the letters from the Prior General and the Bishop say, but at this point, I´m focused more on following the Voice that calls me and expects me to answer. I am going to a land which I do not know, but God knows it perfectly and He is inviting me to love it just as He loves it. That is more than enough for me to be on my way to Cuba.

And what do you think about this?

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Augustinian Recollects. Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine. Paseo de la Habana, 167, 28036, Madrid, Spain. Telephone: 913 453 460. CIF(fiscal registration number): R-2800087-E. Entered in the Register of Religious Organizations, of the Ministry of Justice, number 1398-a-SE/B. Privacy policy.