What can you tell us about yourself?
I am Bruno do Espirito Santo, a priest belonging to the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ. I was born in Brazil and I am 37 years old. I began my vocational journey at the age of 13 and entered the novitiate of the Legion of Christ in 2000. I was a student at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum between 2004-2006 and 2009-2011. I received the sacrament of priestly ordination on December 13, 2014. I have just completed my theological formation with a PhD in Patrology at the Patristicum Augustinianum Institute in Rome.
What are your most significant and pleasant memories of your formative experience at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum?
From the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum I remember with special affection and gratitude the academic depth and seriousness of its professors. Among the APRA professors there is a real “diaconia veritatis”, the humble and professional service of knowing and loving the Truth, which is Christ.
After completing your training at APRA, what did you do?
After priestly ordination in 2014 I dedicated for eight months in missionary pastoral work in Brazil while teaching in the novitiate of the Legion of Christ in Arujá (Brazil). After that, I returned to Italy to obtain a Master’s and Doctorate degree in Patrology at the Augustinianum Patristic Institute in Rome, and at the same time I taught Philosophy and Latin at the School of Philosophy and patristic spirituality at the Institute of Religious Sciences within the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum. These have been beautiful years in which I learned a lot from my fellow scholars and students.
Can you tell us in a little detail about the new challenge that is beginning as Director of the Brazilian Institute? What are the main responsibilities, what do you think could be the main critical issues, what are (if you already have them) the dreams/projects you hope to realize?
The Legion of Christ has an Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Brazil at the Maria Mater Ecclesiae seminary. in 2017 studies in theology were affiliated with the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum by the Congregation for Catholic Education. The Director, with the Board, has the mission of governing the Institute and accompanying the teachers and students in their activities. The Director must be a father and pastor for all those who belong to the Institute of Philosophy and Theology. His mission is to promote the integral growth of the people the Institute collaborates with. Our priority is always to help people (professors, students, staff) to realize their vocation in society in harmony with the common good and with respect for the person.
Finally, can you tell us in what way you think the training you received at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum has helped you and can continue to do so?
APRA has taught me to search for Good, Beauty and Truth, without letting myself be deceived by changing opinions, fashions of thought, slogans. The main characteristic of our Athenaeum is the teaching: it is firmly based on the great philosophical and theological values of humanity in a wise and creative dialogue with today’s culture. I want to impress on the Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Brazil the same character that I received from my professors and colleagues at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum.
In the light of your experience as a student and Christian leader, what would you like to receive from your Alma Mater?
The Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum is for me the source to which I return to find the roots of my philosophical and theological formation and the place where I learned to teach in communion with others. I think that maintaining this emotional and intellectual bond will always be fundamental for carrying out my mission as Director of the Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Brazil.