I was born on January 4 in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.
My baptism was on an Easter Vigil. It was an emergency baptism because I was sick and in danger of dying. In the baptism, my mother consecrated me to God. She named me Jesús as a covenant with God. She promised Him that if I recovered my health, she would support whatever He wanted for my life. And God heard the prayers of my mother and saved my life.
At the end of 2003, I was in love with my girlfriend and we both agreed that by the end of 2004 we would marry. It was our plan. But we didn’t expect that God’s plan was different. At that time I was very involved in the spiritual work of the parish among teenagers, and for this reason, my pastor invited me to experience a spiritual retreat for those men who were considering the priesthood as a vocation for their lives. The priesthood wasn’t in my plans, as I mentioned before, but I accepted the invitation out of consideration for my pastor. I went to the retreat. The only thing I can say about it is that I fell in love with God. I repeated that retreat two more times in which my love for God increased more and more. Many factors, such as my job, the teens’ group of the parish, my family and my girlfriend, impeded me from saying “yes” to God’s call to the priesthood at the first moment. The leaders of the retreat encouraged me to ask God in prayer before the Holy Sacrament what He wanted for me. I prayed and in peace and joy, I said “Yes” to God’s will for my life. With God’s grace, I left everything, convinced that God was calling me. I have to confess that it was not easy, especially when it was time to share my decision with my father, (now a Pentecostal Pastor) and my girlfriend.
On August 15, 2004, I started my formation in the Minor Seminary of Xalapa where I studied three years of high school. Then, in the Major Seminary, I studied one year of diocesan spirituality with two years of philosophy. After that, I moved to a seminary near Mexico City where I studied one year of diocesan-Dominican spirituality and one more year of philosophy. While I was studying there, I received the invitation to come to Chicago to serve God’s people in this Archdiocese. I came to Chicago in August of 2011. I studied two years of English language, and now I’m studying my third year of Theology at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary.
Until now, I have been in seminary for a little more than twelve years. It hasn’t been easy at all, but I still have that strong love for God that moves me to accept everything for Him, and his priesthood. During this time I’ve been learning a lot, especially about the love and mercy that God has for us. I know that God is calling me to this vocation because, despite the difficult journey, I am so happy doing what I am doing. It is true that I have been called to leave many things behind: family, friends, country, and even the possibility to have wife and children, among other things. But my love for God and his people moved me to constantly respond to God’s call with a daily YES to his will. I feel in love with God with my entire mind, with all my soul, and with all my being. And I am sure that I chose for my life the better option, which is God. Or better yet, He is the one who chose me. He called me and I’m trying to respond to that call.
Please, keep me in your prayers; you rest assured that you are in mine.
|What has been your favorite/most memorable story of your time at Mundelein thus far?||
Having the opportunity to travel to different countries has been one of the most exciting things during my time at Mundelein Seminary. For example, a mission trip to Burkina Faso, in Africa, and another mission trip to Thailand where I had the opportunity to work with Buddhist monks in Bangkok. Also I had the opportunity to visit China, Japan, Laos, Israel, Palestine, France, my native Mexico, and the US where the seminary is located.
|How can Mundelein's donors and community pray for you?||
Offer your Holy Communions, Holy Hours, Rosaries, and sacrifices first for the souls in Purgatory, then for the holiness of our priest, for holy vocations, and if you still have time, mood, and a little bit of mercy, pray for me. I want to be a priest, not any priest, but a holy one for and at the service of God and his people.