We live in a complicated, almost unreal situation that truly makes us reflect upon our life. All of us have experienced death’s near presence. People we love, who had no apparent problems went to the next world. And just as they went, you and I can also. In view of this, it is important to ask: are we ready for it? God desires our salvation. Yet do we really work and struggle to obtain it?
A clear example of the struggle to reach the goal is Marcelo Javier Morsella, a young seminarian of the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE). He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1962 to a wealthy family. He was a well-educated young man who loved to read and possessed several gifts, especially a gift with people. His parents’ separation and his father's departure to the United States plunged Marcelo into a suffering that made him mature and grow in his faith.
After finishing high school, he entered the mechanical school of the Armed Forces. After a year there the vocation was awakened in him, but he could not join the seminary because the Lord asked him to help his family financially. This time of waiting became a time of purification and maturing for him.
He was one of the first IVE seminarians. He lived each moment in community intensely, such as the celebrations, ordinations, work, study and evangelization. He stood out for being a great apostle, for living charity, especially with his brothers, to whom he offered himself completely, leaving aside his own chores. But most importantly, he stood out for his love of the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In February 1986, during a retreat near Nihuil Lake in the province of Mendoza, Argentina, Marcelo and another seminarian were heading back to the coast after crossing the lake with a small boat. When they pushed off, the mast hit a high voltage cable and electrocuted Marcelo who died instantly. He was 23 years old.
His grave has turned into a place of pilgrimage and prayer. He was the first IVE religious who left this life for Eternal Life and who, we hope, in heaven, has founded the first community of his beloved congregation.
Another example of struggle to reach the goal is Father Henry Kowalczyk, Servant Priest of the Home of the Mother, American, who after a strong conversion and a total abandonment of himself followed the path of holiness. How? Completely doing what God asked him to do. But not just doing it; dedicating himself entirely and immense and contagious joy.
Like Marcelo, Fr. Henry knew how to put all his gifts, virtues and abilities at the service of the One who had given them to him, which made it possible for the Lord to use him to bring many people closer to the Faith, despite his difficulty with the Spanish language.
Like Marcelo, he radiated love for the Eucharist and for Our Blessed Mother in a very intense and simple way, bringing each person a little closer to Heaven. He brought Heaven a little bit closer to everyone—he made you want to get there—aware that it is our goal.
Helpfulness and humility were other gifts that the Lord had given him. He was willing to offer everything for Him. During the lockdown for COVID-19, he left his community to serve a convent of Discalced Carmelites in Amposta, Tarragona, who had no one to take care of them spiritually.
He spent his last days there, dedicating himself completely, unconditionally, unreservedly and with such an immense joy that made him feel very close to Heaven.
On the morning of April 15, 2020, he died, aged 54, after a fall caused by an epileptic seizure. It was an unexpected event for his community, for the Home of the Mother and for everyone who knew him.
We hope that, by the mercy of God, he reaches Heaven and the Home can found a new community of Servants there, the most privileged community, the one closest to God and our Mother, the one who can work for all of us.
The death of these two souls, so far apart in time yet so similar, is moving. Both, first members of their congregations to die after a sudden death. The Lord was in a hurry to take them both, He wanted to have them in his heavenly army to help us who remain on earth in these difficult times and to continue working for souls.
With these two testimonies I want to get your attention, not as a reproach, but as a wake-up call! God’s ways are narrow, but worth following. Heaven is worth it—don’t forget it.
Abandon yourself to the Lord’s will, fall in love with the Eucharist and place yourself under Mary’s mantle like Marcel and Fr. Henry. Let’s take them as good friends, imitate them in all the good they did, and fight to attain our goal. The Lord awaits us. If we don’t make it, we will have messed up our life.
- By Ana Pérez