Year of Study: Theology IV

Home Parish: St. Francis of Assisi

Watch: Culture and Vocation, a Hispanic Perspective

1. When did you first think about becoming a priest?

I first thought about becoming a priest when I was 5 years old. I told my parents that I wanted to be at the Altar, not just as an Altar Server but as the “main guy” who a special connection with God. I didn’t know much at that age, but this desire for the priesthood never really left my mind – it only grew stronger the closer I was to getting married. It was in Eucharistic Adoration that I received the call – when I relinquished what I thought would be good for me and simply let God take the wheel in my life. The Lord said to me, “What are you waiting for?”

2. Please tell a bit of your background before entering the seminary: did you enter from high school, working, college, etc.?

Before entering the seminary I worked for 12 years in the aerospace industry (NASA, Lockheed Martin, and Pratt & Whitney) supporting Human Spaceflight, Strategic Missile Defense, Satellite Space Systems and next generation Military Jet Engine programs collaborating with international (JAXA, ESA, LM UK) and domestic (NASA, DoD, U.S. Military) customers. I pursued a B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from San Jose State University. I also taught for 5 years Computer Basic Skills, High School Mathematics, and GED Math and Science in Spanish to immigrant families.

3. What are some of your hobbies or things you enjoy doing during your free time?

I enjoy trail running, going to the gym, reading (Thomistic philosophy, physics, scripture commentary, lives of the saints, etc.), Eucharistic Adoration, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family.

4. Who is your favorite saint?

I have three: St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine and St. Ignatius of Loyola.

5. What has been your favorite spiritual reading book?

“An Introduction to the Devout Life” by St. Francis de Sales.

6. What do you most look forward to in your life as, God willing, a future priest?

God willing, as a future priest, I look forward to celebrating the Holy Mass and hearing many hours of confessions. I look forward to being present for the people of God in many of their most important moments, by providing the sacraments and teaching them the truth and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7. What would you say to a young man considering the priesthood today?

I would say to this young man: The voice of God never goes away. The Lord speaks to us in our every day activities. Remain faithful to your times of prayer (rosary, Eucharistic Adoration, daily Mass if possible, etc.) and find yourself a good Spiritual Director. We can not discern the will of God alone – reach out to your local Vocations Director to help you out as well. Take into consideration the reality of your current situation and circumstances in life. If it is from God, the thought will persist and only by doing something about it will it go away. Like our Lord, pray that His will be done and be truly open to what that may be.