Ricardo Simmonds Traveled the World for a Year in Hopes of Finding God
Growing up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ricardo felt unfulfilled with his life. After completing high school he decided to buy a special plane ticket that allowed him to travel the world traveling in one single direction for a year. He began in India, then went throughout Asia and the South Pacific in search of God or some greater meaning in his life. He studied with gurus, explored Buddhism and Hinduism, and tried to find happiness in surfing in lost islands in the South Pacific. At the end of the trip, he was saddened because he found many good people, but did not find God, the reason for his travels. He went to college for a year in the US (his father is American) and was given the opportunity to go to Peru on a missionary trip to build a park in San Juan de Miraflores, a poor neighborhood of Lima. It was there that he began to explore Catholicism again, the religion he was baptized in but never really looked into with any depth. His experience in Peru was life changing, and he decided to drop out of college and move to Lima to begin his formation to become a Sodalit, a consecrated lay man. Since then he has devoted his life to helping the spiritually poor and the materially poor in the US and in Latin America, including leading missionary groups of college students from the US.
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