Current Seminarians

Ismael Garcia

Archdiocese of Chicago

Birthday

October 11, 1992

Ordination Year

2020

Home Parish

Inmaculate Conception on 44th and California

Undergraduate

Saint Joseph College Seminary (Philosophy)

Languages

Español / English

Hobbies

Listening to music, singing, movies, video games, physical training

Tidbit

I am named after my father. My name in Hebrew means God's listens

Favorite Saint

Saint Isidor the farmer

Favorite Devotion

The Rosary

Vocation Story

The way a see my vocation story, it is God taking me step by step in my growing up in faith and listening to Him, something so subtle, so ordinary that many times I just did not see it, but took me to the next step anyways. The more I look back, the more I can see it now.

When I was 7 years old, I did my first communion. After memorizing most of the questions of the Baltimore Catechism, I was ready to do my first Communion and receive Christ for the first time. The day came and the priest celebrated Mass and made it so especial, I still remember a thought form his Homily, “Don’t let this be the first and the last time you receive Christ”. This words got my attention and something inside of me felt fire up, but just like a good fire it extinguished the next day (ordinary parts of life) most importantly those words got also my Mothers attention in a way that she wanted me to be more involved in the Church. She then went to the priest and asked for something that her son could do to be involved. Altar server was the option, so she talked to me about it. I hated the idea of being an altar server specially since all the altar servers wore albs and for me, it looked like a white dress. I am a boy, there is no way I am using a white dress! I told my mom. She smiled and just like Mary convinced Jesus to help at the wedding, my mom convinced me. She just knows how to get to me. When I started serving at Mass, soon enough I notice that the Mass was not boring anymore. It seemed to go rather fast, I had to be focus and paid attention to make sure I brought everything on time and in right order, above all the Mass started to somehow make sense. I enjoyed the Mass, the homilies, and I grew in faith and in prayer with that in my relationship with God.
I turned twelve, and I was now taller than the priest, so when I had to bring the missal, the people could only see my back. It was time to quit, I did not felt comfortable anymore, and other kids wanted to be altar server, so I decided to move on. The pastor did not just want to let me go and instead invited me to form a choir. I accepted and with my sister we formed a choir. I learned a lot of song that with its lyrics made me relate with God in a deeper way.
I then turned fifteen and during one of the Masses, after the homily, a seminarian stood up in front ot the pulpit and invited all the young men to experience the Holy Week at the Seminario Diocesano de Morelia. The mass was finished and I was packing the keyboard and the mics, when the seminarian approached me and invited me to go to the seminary for the retreat. I got very excited, this part is rather funny since I did not know what a seminary was. I asked what a seminary is, and he explained to me. I was shocked, I never thought that an ordinary person like me could be called to be a priest. I always thought that priest was recognized by a doctor at birth with a mark somewhere in their body. This invitation was not to join the seminary but to live the Holy Week at the seminary, that experienced was enough to start different conversations with God about my vocation. I was happy that I might be called to the priesthood, but I was also afraid for what it takes to become one. I joined the seminary when I was fifteen and I am still in formation following the call.

Priest Aspirations

To encounter God’s face on the people I serve, to be an instrument of peace and mercy

How can Mundelein's donors and community pray for you?

Pray that I may be always attentive to the needs of the people of God, that I may recognize Christ in others and that I let myself be transformed by the encounters I will have during my life, specially during my formation.

Help someone starting with the nearest to you, not only with prayers but also with actions, a kind word, a smile, and offer it up for more vocations to the priesthood.

May God multiply the good you share.

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