"If I were to relive my life, I would do exactly what I did."

Silvano Borruso was one of the first members of Opus Dei that St. Josemaria sent to begin the Work in Kenya. He arrived in September of 1960 and passed away on Saturday 1st January 2022 after a long illness. This is an abridged interview from Strathmore School on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the beginning of Opus Dei.

When did you meet St. Josemaria and what were your impressions?

September 1953, at a course held in Castelgandolfo near Rome. My first impression was of a person very willing to listen to the oddities that we were telling him. Only after many years did I realize they were times of great difficulty for him and for the Work.

How old were you when you came to Kenya? Any interesting stories, surprises or culture shocks?

I was 25. Stories are many; it's difficult to single out any of them after all these years.

How would you explain what Opus Dei is to an ordinary person and especially to a young person?

Read (and meditate on) the writings of the Founder, especially The Way.

How did you know God was calling you to Opus Dei?

I have asked myself that question many times without finding a rational answer. All I know is that if I were to relive my life, I would do exactly what I did.

Could you share with us some of your happiest/most joyful moments?

I could, but it would mean recounting the whole of my life. Vocation to Opus Dei turns a life into an endless adventure. The important thing is not to let oneself be distracted by the dogs that bark on the way.

What did St. Josemaria expect of Kenyans in particular and Africans in general?

Sanctity, the same as everyone else.

Do you have any message for the young people of the 21st century - especially as regards the treasure of their youthful years, the care they should take of their faith and how they can discern God's will for their lives?

I answer in the same order:
1. Youth is a time of intellectual, moral and emotional growth. Do not get distracted by the futilities that float around.
2. Faith is the most precious gift after life. Take care of it more than anything else.
3. Human life is time sandwiched between two eternities: the first before conception, the second after death. Happiness, both here and beyond, is attainable only by completing the life project of one's vocation.