Spain - Jota Llorente, SDB: "One day they gave me a book on Don Bosco and I thought, 'I want to be like this priest'"

21 April 2017

(ANS - Bilbao) - The Salesian Fr Jesús Javier Llorente – known in art as "Jota Llorente" – speaks in an interview about this musician, photographer, artist and especially, priest.

Introduce yourself, please.

I am a priest, a Salesian, currently living in Madrid-Atocha. I was a social educator in the district of Pan Bendito. I am also a photographer, graphic artist and sometimes also a singer.

How did you come to know the Salesians?

On the street, how else? I was about 18. I used to organize activities for children in a difficult neighbourhood in Burgos. Someone told me that I should meet some priests who had come to do something similar and seemed to be doing it well.

How was your Salesian vocation born?

I continued my work in the neighbourhood, but I also used to collaborate with the Illera Youth Centre. I started participating in the life of a group of them and joined in their prayers. One day they gave me a book about Don Bosco and I thought, 'I want to be like this priest.'

What episode of Don Bosco's life attracts your attention?

There are different ones. It depends a lot on the mood I'm in. In the three biographies written by Don Bosco - Dominic Savio, Michael Magone and Francis Besucco there is one thing in common. After meeting them, Don Bosco asked each of them to change something in their life, starting with their concrete reality. It was always something for the service of God and their companions at the oratory. It shows that he knew how to tell every young person what he needed to do to grow as a person and as a Christian. This was a gift that few people have.

How do you see today's young people in relation to the Church?

We speak an archaic language. Our churches look more like museums than places of worship. The rituals need to be decoded if they are to make sense. Approaching them will always be a bit complicated. Young people label us as old-fashioned. We respond by saying that they are not committed. We forget that the key in approaching them is to tell him that God loves them, that he expects a lot from each of them, and that they have to experience that for themselves. 

What do you think Don Bosco would say to today's young people?

Play, run, jump ... stay on the social networks, shoot videos, put them on YouTube, play video games, listen to music, dance, go out in the evening, but please do not sin!


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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