School: Mundelein Seminary
1000 East Maple Avenue
Mundelein, IL 60060
I am Juan Carlos Villota Viteri, and I am from Colombia. My hometown is Pasto, which is in the southwest of Colombia.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I love to read, listen to music, watch movies, and play soccer, volleyball, and play video games.
What is one of your favorite scriptures?
My favorite passage is from the Gospel of Saint John, chapter 10. This is because it talks about Jesus the Good Shepherd who can give his life for each one of us.
Who is your favorite saint and why?
My favorite saint is San Felipe Neri, because he is the saint of joy and he showed God’s smile through his life.
In a nutshell, what is your vocation story? How did you feel called to the priesthood?
My vocation story begins when I was 15 years old. I was far from the Church even I did not want to prepare for the sacrament of the Eucharist. One of the things that motivated me to know about faith was the testimony of life of my catechist. In addition, God spoke through many people and situations that made me see the fidelity and love of God with me. Thus, I could see there my own salvation history. After having received the sacrament of the Eucharist at age 15, I started to prepare for confirmation and participate more in the life of the Church. My parish was under care of a religious community called The Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. I started to love the charism and work such as missions, retirement home, schools, parishes, and chaplaincies. But one of the things that motivated me were the missions. Bring a message of hope and love to communities that do not have the opportunity to enjoy the Eucharist and the Word of God for lack of a priest. Communities affected by violence and poverty, it motivated me to follow Jesus the Good Shepherd to be an instrument of his joy and love.
What is seminary life like for you?
Seminary life is an opportunity to fall more in love with God. Furthermore, it is a time to discern our call through intellectual, human, pastoral, and spiritual preparation. All these are to give reason of our faith and share that love with everyone.
What do you look forward to about being a priest?
I want to follow in the footsteps of Jesus as the Good Shepherd because His love awakens in my heart the desire to answer hi love and serve His Church with joy.
What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?
My advice is that we should discover that love of God that is present every day in our lives. Recognizing that unconditional love through our prayer, family, and friendships our hearts will rejoice, and we wanted to give a generous response. In addition, God calls us to the priesthood because what we are, that is, God calls us with our weaknesses and strengths, since He wants to transform us to be the image of His love.