Having felt called to a conversion of heart, Brother Fabrizio Szymanski, SA, describes himself as a Son of the Atonement.
If he were asked, “Is it worth giving your life to God on a path of total consecration?” his answer would be a resounding “Yes!”
The 28-year-old Italian Friar has indeed given his life to the Lord, and has taken one of the initial steps in that devotion. Brother Fabrizio professed his first vows as a Franciscan Friar of the Atonement on Saturday, September 10 during a Mass at the Cathedral of San Rufino in Assisi, Italy.
“Discovering together with the Lord what He has always planned for us, it is worth it,” Brother Fabrizio said of his first profession. “Discovering that we have always been loved by God and that He leaves us free to love and cherish Him, it is worth it. Discovering that true freedom and fullness of life is to want – out of love – what God desires for us, it is worth it.”
The ceremony was attended by the Friars’ General Council, as well as several Atonement Friars from across the globe. Among them was Brother Paolo Nicosia, SA, who has served as Brother Fabrizio’s mentor.
On September 5, 2021, Brother Fabrizio received his habit and began his novitiate. Since then, he has participated in the Conventual Franciscan Novitiate program held at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, residing at Our Lady of the Atonement House. Now a professed Atonement Friar, Brother Fabrizio will take his first steps towards the priesthood, studying Theology.
“The religious community is indeed a wonderful gymnasium of life where a wonderful charism, that unites all those who are inspired by it, is lived,” Brother Fabrizio said. “We experience daily to be brothers and to walk together to live the joy of the Gospel that leads us to God.”
Brother Fabrizio composed a heartfelt vigil prayer for his first profession, explaining how he was called to be an Atonement Friar.
“Have you ever listened to the breath of the universe on a starry night? It is a silence that speaks; speaks to our hearts. It has spoken to my heart. And it speaks of God, of that God who knows the name of each of those countless stars; and each of us is a precious star in His eyes,” Brother Fabrizio’s prayer read. “He scrutinizes and knows the secrets of my heart. He refreshes me, enlightens me and guides me on the path that leads to the Light.”
Brother Fabrizio said his greatest desire is to always continue on his path of an Atonement Friar. He remains deeply inspired by the work and charism of the founders of the Society of the Atonement, Servant of God Father Paul Wattson, SA, and Mother Lurana White, SA.
“I have walked along this road that has increasingly become a path of trust and love. Just as it has always been crucial to remember that I am a precious star in His eyes, a star worthy of shining and thought of by the Lord forever and ever,” Brother Fabrizio said. “I will enact with the joy of my heart At-One-Ment, so that “All may be one.” The Lord is now leading me to the discovery of new horizons in which I am sure He will accompany me, holding my hand.”