School: St. Joseph Seminary College
75376 River Road
St. Benedict, LA 70457
I was born & raised in Gainesville Georgia. It is a smallish city but has been growing since the 90’s. The city served as the venue for the rowing and kayaking medal competitions, which took place on Lake Lanier. Most of my family is from Mexico, and I am proud to say they have remained Catholic. Growing up we were never really consistent with Sunday Mass but I do remember snippets as a kid. I give thanks to God and my parents that I was baptized by a Catholic priest. My grandmother “me daba su bendicion” every morning before school and so contributed to my reversion by these small but great actions.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I like learning about our Catholic faith and enjoy reading and watching videos about the saints. I love being in God’s nature , whether it be at the beach or forest. I enjoy being out with my family, whether it is enjoying a meal or watching a movie. I also enjoy watching and playing sports and I also like to try foods from different cultures.
What is one of your favorite scriptures?
There are many Scriptures I could choose from but I really like John 14: 1-6 RSV. “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” I really like these verses because Jesus assures us. “And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.
I really like these verses because Jesus assures us in our worries no matter how big or small, and ask us to trust in his most loving heart and how He longs to be with us in heaven.
Who is your favorite saint and why?
This is a difficult question to answer because all the saints are wonderful and unique. But I love St. Joseph. I had an encounter with this great quiet saint and of course Mama Mary. She teaches us how to love Jesus. Mary has been united to the Trinity like no else ever has or will. She has been loved by the Trinity and has loved the Trinity like no one else.
In a nutshell, what is your vocation story? How did you feel called to the priesthood?
By the grace of my baptism I was drawn home having been away for 20+ years , I started to enjoy my quiet time with Jesus in Adoration and I felt a sweetness in prayer whenever I was in the chapel and I felt Jesus in the Eucharist call me to seminary.
What is seminary life like for you?
What makes seminary awesome is that you have to time and space to contemplate the Lord; where He is the center of everything. It is a time to immerse yourself in prayer
Another awesome aspect of seminary is the fraternity. The brothers here are out of this world and are men whom I admire. I also enjoy the intellectual opportunity to think about life’s deepest questions. Overall, it’s a great challenge to be called to seminary but it is packed with joy and grace.
What do you look forward to about being a priest?
Baptizing the children of God, celebrating Mass, and just being able to enter into the wounds of people’s lives and embracing celibacy.
What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?
Go to the chapel and pray. Be yourself in prayer because God can only work with who you are. Bring to the altar any questions/concerns.. Trust in God constantly no matter how difficult life is and find a good spiritual director. Stay close to our beautiful Lady, she will help you follow and love her Son properly. Lastly, spend significant time in prayer after mass and cling to the saints.