School: St. Joseph Seminary College
75376 River Road
St. Benedict, LA 70457

Background:

I grew up in Gainesville, Georgia. My parents are both Mexican and moved to the United States about 30 years ago. Since then they have had 3 older boys, of which I am the youngest, and one girl. They did an extraodinary job raising me and my siblings with good morals and a solid faith. They always pushed to keep Catholicism at the center of the family by dragging us by the ear to Mass every Sunday and for catechism as well as Youth Group on Wednesdays at Saint Michael’s Catholic Church in Gainesville.

What are your hobbies and interests?

I love music. It is my biggest hobby and outlet. I love to play the French Horn, sing, and just listening to music whenever I just need a break. I also enjoy watching and playing sports, soccer being my favorite.

What is one of your favorite scriptures?

Philippians 2:6-11

Who is your favorite saint and why?

Pope Saint Peter is my favorite Saint. His determination to follow God without thinking twice is something I really admire and strive for. He is imperfect, yet faithful. Instead of letting his imperfections take hold of him, he accepted them as was able to further grow in faith and virtue because of it. I see a lot of myself in him and he has been an excellent model of faith for me all throughout my spiritual life.

Vocation Story:

The first time I felt called to the priesthood was the summer going into my 9th grade year in high school. I was at this retreat at Panama City called Sunfest. The retreat ended with confession and Adoration, and this was the first impactful experience I had with God. I just felt a gravity pulling me towards the monstrance and God ultimately communicated that He wants more of me. I felt a calling beyond the married life, I felt a super natural call, I felt the call to the priesthood. Throughout high school I ignored it because I felt as if I had made that up for myself out of my childish imagination and naivety. Then Senior year came and the call started to come once again. I finally decided to take God’s call seriously and went to the Come and See retreat at Saint Joseph Abbey Seminary College in Louisiana. As soon as I arrived, I knew that that was where I needed to be, and God further confirmed it with the almost exact same experience I had with Him 3 years ago with Him in confession then Adoration. This experience really helped me know the fulfillment that is only possible with a devoted life to Christ. As I was sitting their crying and simply staring into the eyes of the King go Glory I was convicted to take action and respond to His call.

What is seminary life like for you?

Seminary life is tough but amazing. The spiritual growth I have experienced in just one year is far beyond what I could have ever imagined. Through the help of my brothers, formation advisor, spiritual director and, of course, God, I have cultivated a much deeper and intimate relationship with Christ. A relationship based on discipline, prayer, and love.

What do you look forward to about being a priest?

I look forward to serving the people of the Church whether it be Mass, confession, or spiritual direction. Over the time I have spent in Seminary and especially my summer assignment, I have developed a great desire for service.

What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?

Don’t wait, don’t hesitate, just have faith. If you feel as if God is calling you, take action! Put God first! If He is calling you, drop everything and go. He’ll take care of the rest, all you have to do is be willing and moldable.