Volunteer Spotlight: January 2021 – Alessio Manetto
Written by Radio Maria England on 04/01/2021
Alessio – Volunteer for Radio Maria England
Why is your Faith important to you? Was there a period in your life when Faith became particularly important?
As a cradle Catholic living in Rome at a stone’s throw from St Peter square, faith became important to me at an early age and I wholeheartedly thank my parents’ profound devotion for it as they took great care to see that I followed in their footsteps. I used to be an active member of my local parish attending Catechism, participating in its Youth Group, going to Assisi for spiritual retreats and even volunteering. When I moved away from Rome and, hence away from my parish environment, in my late teens, other things became a priority and my faith faded into the background. Bit by bit, by not participating in the sacramental life, my faith started to crumble. Although the Lord was always close, I seldom resorted to him and only in times of need, only to go disregard him once things were back to normal. When I moved to Cambridge my faith had completely gone. After a long period of “soul searching” I had a strong conversion. It was October 2012 and little did I know that that month was the beginning of the Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI! After it, my life changed completely, I felt as though I had found the most precious treasure on earth and could not keep it only for myself, so when occasion arises I share my personal testimony.
What is your local Church and are you active in any of its groups?
I regularly attend the church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs in Cambridge and I participate in the Rosary group and the Soulfood group, a local Charismatic group.
What do you most enjoy about Church?
Hard to put down in words: it is the joy, the peace and the encounter with the Lord; the knowledge that we are loved with our Father’s Infinite love and that we will have eternal life. There is also the added bonus of making new friends in the faith.
Why are you involved with Radio Maria? (How did you hear about it, what are your hopes for this, would you encourage people to listen and why?)
Soon after my conversion in 2012, I began listening to Radio Maria to re-learn what I had forgotten along the years away from the Church. As Radio Maria is huge in Italy, as soon as I heard from a friend that they were starting Radio Maria England in Cambridge I signed up to volunteer. In a way I see a Divine plan in this. To help Radio Maria is a personal call and a privilege. So far, my contribution has been in the Social Media team and with “Awakenings: stories of faith and conversion”, a programme which I hold very dear as testimonies helped my conversion.
I have high hopes for Radio Maria England – many people are not aware that it is part of a World Family with 85 radio stations and over 65 different languages! My first wish would be for it to be a beacon for England itself, for both those who have not yet received the gift of faith and those who need to rekindle it. I also believe that it could reach many other countries around the world where Radio Maria is not still present as English is the most popular second language in the world.