School: St. Vincent de Paul Seminary
10701 S. Military Trail
Boynton Beach, FL 33436
Tell us about where you grew up and your family background?
I grew up in the north Atlanta area, around Roswell and Alpharetta. I went to Holy Redeemer Catholic School from 2nd to 8th grade and then Blessed Trinity Catholic High School. My dad is from Ecuador and my mom is from Mississippi. I have five siblings overall. Three brothers and two sisters. Most of us went to UGA and we are all huge UGA football fans.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I love board sports, so any time that I can surf, snowboard, or wake board I am all in. I also love music, going to concerts, and spending time with friends and family. I have a black lab dog names Ringo who is back home with my family, and I love spending time with him as well.
What is one of your favorite scriptures?
John 15:13 – “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
I love how simple and deep that this verse goes. To love fully is to give up yourself for those people in your life. I strive to love like this daily, and even though I often fall short, I just love how powerful it is to lay down one’s life for God’s people.
Who is your favorite saint and why?
Pope Saint John Paul II. Growing up I always admired him as a person and he was someone I really strived to be like. He always seemed so genuine and was truly a man who poured his heart out for everyone in this world. I was lucky enough to be able to meet him and receive a blessing from him, which was one of the most impactful moments of my life.
In a nutshell, what is your vocation story? How did you feel called to the priesthood?
My life pretty much turned upside down when I was in my last year of physical therapy school, and from then on, I had a reversion in my faith. I had a hard reset on my life and things started to change little by little. As I grew in my faith, I began praying more and having a closer relationship with Jesus. I was unhappy with my life and work as a PT, and I ended up quitting my job to take some time off and let God lead me to where I was supposed to be next. He ended up placing thoughts of the priesthood heavily into my mind during this time. I tried to resist for a while, but of course, I lost that battle and started seriously discerning. It became obvious that I was being called to seminary, and here I am now. Peace and joy abound when following God’s plan for your life.
What is seminary like for you?
I’ve only been here for two weeks, but it has been amazing so far. The time for daily prayer and daily mass is life changing. It provides so much peace and brings you so much closer to God. I have enjoyed spending time with my new brothers and taking advantage of everything in this awesome campus.
What do you look forward to about being a priest?
I look forward to helping those who are lost, suffering, and broken discover the peace and joy found in Christ. I want to be able to help those who are in deep struggles find God and find that sense of peace and fulfillment in life.
What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?
If you feel like God is prompting you to investigate further, then go ahead and talk with a priest or your vocation director. God ultimately has a plan for your life that will be most joyful and fulfilling for you, so taking that step to figure out what that is will bring a great sense of peace. I tried to fight God’s nudging for a while and that just leads to more struggles, so go ahead and figure it out! You will be led to wonderful things either way.