Saturday, May 11, 2013

Man Who Was A Catholic Priest - What An Experience

This is an experience related at an assembly:

Valdir was born in Portugal. When he was younger his family moved to
Brazil. He was 12 years old, when his father died, and a year later his
mother remarried. Valdir did not accept that someone would take the place of
his father. Conflicts arose between Valdir, his stepfather, and his mother.
After a discussion that irritated the nerves, he decided to leave home. A
short time later, the rest of the family decided to return to Portugal.
Valdir was only 13 years old when he separated from the family.
He decided to become a priest. He began his studies in a seminary and
graduated in theology and became a priest. Due to his position, they sent
him to the Vatican in Rome to work and to continue his studies there. During
that time he was sent to 80 different countries and learned to read and
write 6 different languages. He worked with Paul IV and John Paul II. Also,
he took their classes, and knew them in private. He also had lots of contact
with the Pope at present, Benedict XVI. He was highly respected in the
church and was sent to different countries to investigate and solve problems
within the church.
He has also composed religious music. At least two of these compositions
are well known all over the world and famous Brazilian priests sing these.
At least 2 million copies have been sold.
In the mid-90's, he was sent to Sao Paulo in Brazil. A short time later
he was going to be consecrated (named as bishop). But in that time he
started to feel disappointed by the abuse of power and the partiality that
existed within the church; for that reason he decided to demit his position.
A year later, he received a message from the Vatican where he was informed
that he should become bishop so that he could advance to later become
archbishop and cardinal. But, he rejected it again. He was also informed
that a priest with such a high education as his could not stay in a large
city without having to take on more responsibility. He had to move to a
smaller city. He chose a city that was in a very Catholic region close to
the city of Tatui. He had the desire to do social work. (This area belongs
to the West Tatui
congregation.)
In the 80's Valdir was sent by the church for a year to the United
States. His mission was to study the more influential churches in that
country. It was then that for the first time he received information about
the Witnesses. Even though the truths he learned did not please him, he was
convinced that only the Jehovah's Witnesses fulfilled the mandate of
preaching the gospel publicly and from house to house, even though people
made fun of, repudiated, and rejected them ferociously.
After some time, he received a visit from a brother that was preaching
from house to house. The brother left him a pair of magazines. After having
read them, Valdir used them as material for his next sermon and cited the
source material. Some of those present reacted negatively, and the church's
headquarters in Sao Paulo was informed. Valdir received a reprimand but was
not intimidated, and continued to have the brothers visit him. He also
continued to read and use the magazines in his sermons.
A pioneer brother that had gone to MTS started to study with Valdir. Even
though he experienced a lot of opposition (verbal, and psychological, and
was attacked several times) he continued to study.
Valdir solicited a discharge in the church and started to frequent the
meetings. His prior friends came to be his enemies and they tried to cause
him damage. To hinder his search for a job, they started to lie about him.
They even tried to convince a person in the congregation to accuse him of
committing a crime. This person negated, and told Valdir what they were
doing.
As an unbaptized publisher, he had an average of 70 hours monthly in the
field service. In July of 2005 he expressed his desire to be baptized, but
he was advised to wait some time. In January of 2006 he was approved for
baptism at the assembly that would be held in February in the Tel assembly
locale. When he was approved for baptism (a month before the baptism) he
felt that he needed to reconcile with his family, for which he had not seen
in 31 years. He thought that a true Christian had to preach the truth to his
family.
During all the years he had contact with the consulate to renew his
permit of residency in Brazil, there was always a greeting from his family
and a telephone number so he could get in contact with them, but Valdir
never called them. Now he wanted to call his mother. But when he heard her
voice, he failed to speak and just cried and had to hang up. After a few
minutes he called her again.

This next dialogue is what happened next:
Mother: How are you, my son?
Valdir: Thanks to Jehovah, I'm doing good now.
Mother: What name have you used? You speak of Jehovah?
Valdir: Yes. I am no longer priest in the Catholic church. I am a Jehovah's
Witnesses, and I have a lot to tell you.
Mother: My son. All of the family, including me, your stepfather, and your
siblings are Jehovah's Witnesses for years now. It is because of that that
we tried to reestablish contact with you.

For a few minutes, they couldn't speak, just cry. Valdir was informed
that one of his brothers serves as an elder. His stepfather, his mother,
and one of his brothers is baptized. He still hasn't decided if he will stay
in Brazil, or move back to Portugal.

This experience was related by Georg and Mona Green, missionaries in Tel,
Brazil. They are in the same congregation as Valdir.