St George’s welcomes Massimo Radice, July 17

St George’s welcomes Massimo Radice, July 17

Massimo Radice (pictured) is due to be ordained Deacon on 30th June in Brussels. (Incidentally, Daleen Bakker, who was with us in 2020 for her Ministry Experience Scheme, is being ordained at the same time as Massimo and is due to be serving in Lisbon.)

Massimo will move to St George’s Barcelona on 17th July to commence 3.5 years of training as Curate. After his first year he is due to be ordained Priest. Read on to find out more…

What is a Curacy?

Curate learning and ministerial development are strongly valued in the Diocese in Europe where there is such great cultural, linguistic and national diversity. A Curacy is a period when newly ordained clergy and their families enter into a new way of living, developing an awareness of the demands of their new role within the community they serve. They engage in learning and training, committing themselves to continuous development in the service of God and God’s people. Likewise, the church must commit to partner with the clergy in developing their ministries.

Who is Massimo Radice?

Massimo was born in Milan, Italy, in 1973. Growing up, he went to a Catholic school where he enjoyed choral masses, although he felt the Christianity he experienced was very traditional.

When he was 11, he went to live with his grandparents. It was then that he started to question everything presented to him as transmitted belief rather than as a heartfelt experience.

At 15, he transferred to Galileo Galilei High School on Lake Maggiore. He continued asking existential questions, which eventually led him to discover the living Jesus. He started appreciating Mass and attending weekly charismatic prayer meetings — to the extent that his schoolmates started calling him “the Priest”.

Choosing a different path

His international schoolteachers stimulated his imagination and gave him a global outlook. By the end of high school, he was determined to go to university abroad to study Economics. Eschewing the conventional path of most Italian students, he went to what is now Regent’s University in London. Between language-country-culture shock and family distance, it wasn’t an easy experience. Still, he considers those years the happiest of his life and the start of a new season.

Discovering Anglicanism

While in London, Massimo worked at Allen Hall Seminary in the office of Catholic Charismatic Renewal under the supervision of Cardinal Basil Hume. He attended two churches that left an important mark on his spiritual development: Westminster Cathedral and Holy Trinity Brompton, where he was introduced to the Alpha Course and to the Anglican tradition, and where he also attended one of the first Alpha dinners in 1994.

Returning to Italy a changed man

He returned to Italy in 1995 with many questions, not knowing where his life was leading. His family had sent him to England to study with the aim of bringing back knowledge for the family business. He did military service as civil service, at Food for the Poor run by the Franciscans. Seeing the devoted life of the friars — the amazing harmony and joy shining on their faces — only amplified his existential-spiritual crisis, the sense of incompleteness in his heart, and he felt a different calling.

Exploring his calling

In agreement with his family, he decided to spend a time of discernment with the Franciscans and he also began studying Theology in Milan. After deep reflection, he felt called to family life, not to the single life of a monk or Catholic priest. With the help of some priests, he was encouraged to combine the joys of a life of service with being a Christian in the world. So, he moved to Rome to pursue an MBA.

Discovering new gifts

In Rome, he discovered the profession of mentoring and counselling suited his abilities and stimulated his desire to be in relationship with people. After completing his MBA, he returned to Milan and spent the next 10 years working for his family company, proud to be the fifth generation of the family running the textile business.

Life-changing decisions

Once again, Massimo felt the Lord calling him to something different — something with people rather than balance sheets. He returned to study, this time Clinical Psychology.

Another life-changing decision: He travelled to Colombia to work for an NGO, supervising the construction and running of a school and medical centre. While in South America, he met and married his wife, Monica, in 2011, and in 2012 they had a child, David (pictured together).

Facilitating ecumenical dialogue

Massimo went back to work for multinational companies but always trying to stay in more people-focused positions. He remained active with the Alpha Course through Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic churches in Milan. He was also active in the Italian agency for ecumenical dialogue between different Christian denominations and Jewish groups, his mother being a Jewish convert to Christianity.

It was during this period that he helped translate two books by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and learned to appreciate the richness of the Anglican tradition and the Church of England.

Prayers answered

His passion for the one catholic Church made him start praying in 2017 about the possibility of ordination in the Church of England. In 2021 his prayers were answered when he started the official CofE ordination training.

“God willing, I will be ordained,” he says. “May the Lord continue to form me to be a living witness of Jesus’ love, both inside and outside of the Church, in the place that God will choose, because His decisions are always perfect.”

Amen.

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