February 20, 1996 is a memorable date: the adventure of the Arsenal of Hope begins in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It will be difficult to restructure the large complex of the Dais (Department of Protection and Social Integration), but this concern does not cloud the joy of starting a mission for Jesus and for the Church: "Go and evangelize".
The three young men of the Sermig male fraternity are prepared and ready. They are the first three missionaries of Sermig. They leave to fulfill the commandment of Jesus today. They leave to announce hope and peace, as they have learned over the years, on the day after day of Sermig. The foundation of a new Arsenal is nothing more than the continuation of their yes lived at the Turin Arsenal.
It is the tree that grows, produces branches and fruits. It is the joy of sowing the seed far away, towards the other side of the Atlantic, of planting a new tree that will bear fruit in due time for the kingdom of God. Going to Sao Paulo is a symbol of other future departures, for where God will want.
Ernesto was strongly attracted to the mission from an early age. The missionary vocation has characterized Sermig from its foundation and has manifested itself in prayers for the construction of the kingdom of God, in projects of material help to millions of people who live tragic situations, in messages of Christian life sent to the whole world. Now, finally, it translates into the sending of young people to Sao Paulo. It is a sign of Sermig's maturity. It is time for a particular thanksgiving and profound spiritual consolation. For Ernesto, it is a special moment of service to the Church, because what Sermig means most profoundly is realized: Youth Missionary Service. Now, truly, young people leave as missionaries to serve with love and generosity.
Creating a new Arsenal seemed like a dream. Today it is a reality: an Arsenal in Brazil similar - in some ways - to the Arsenal of Peace in Turin. We thank the Lord and Our Lady: with their protection they have allowed this dream to quickly become reality.