Current Seminarians

Jonathan Hernandez

Diocese of Joliet, Illinois


December 22

Ordination Year


Home Town

West Chicago

Home Parish

St. Mary's, West Chicago


University of St. Thomas, MN, St. John Vianney College Seminary (Philosophy, Catholic Studies)


English, Spanish


Cooking, board games, reading, exploring new restaurants.


I once smoked 80lb of pulled pork in large charcoal grill.

Favorite Saint

St. Giuseppi Moscatti

Vocation Story

I began altar serving at a young age, where I fell in love with the eucharist and developed a deep respect for it. My pastor invited me to attend a vocation event for middle school-aged kids, which I did. I had no desire to be a priest then, but I respected my pastor and went. The event ended with a rosary where the deacon at the time asked all the discerners to pray to God that he would reveal the vocation he desired for us. It seemed like a safe prayer, so I prayed, surprisingly becoming inundated with a desire for the priesthood during that rosary. At that moment, my calling became clear. I, of course, became distracted as I entered high school. However, that became a landmark moment in my life, and that desire the Lord placed on my heart persisted. I eventually visited another seminary as a high school sophomore, which gave me the confidence to answer God’s call more seriously. I entered seminary straight out of high school, and the Lord has only affirmed that calling. That is not to say that the vocation is easy. To be clear, there are many challenges. However, my trust rests in Him, and in working with the Lord, I have seen Him do beautiful things in my life.

Priest Aspirations

I look forward to celebrating mass, hearing confessions, and bringing others to Christ that he may heal their hearts.

What has been your favorite/most memorable story of your time at Mundelein thus far?

One of my most fond memories has been all hiking a 11,000ft mountain in Wyoming with my brother seminarians and experiencing the joy that comes after completing something tough. To be clear the climb was tough and there were plenty of moments to complain we were climbing for about a week and it rained for more than half the trip. We experienced some dangerous terrain along the way but regardless of everything going bad and having all the reasons to complain, we didn’t. That small action that required great effort at times made the trip extremely fruitful and I go back to that trip at times and experience the fruit of that trip daily.

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

Please pray that I become the priest that the Lord desires me to be. That I may have the docility and the necessary humility to respond when I feel the request is large. Pray that I may love those around me with the heart of Christ and speak words that edify and build communion.