Parish: Queen of Apostles, Pewaukee
Seminary: Saint Francis de Sales
Birthday: May 28
Intercessor: St. Thérèse of Lisieux
I am a Catholic seminarian for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Born and raised in Colombia, I look forward to serving the Archdiocese as, God willing, a missionary priest at the service of the people of God in this particular church.
Tell us your vocation story:
The first memory I have of my desire to become a priest comes from when I was 7 years old. At that time, I started serving my home parish, which happens to be our Shrine of our Lady of Good Help, as an altar server. I eventually started getting more and more involved in the parish as a lector and catechist. I remember being the youngest member of every group I was part of. Of all these parochial groups, there was a special one called “La Escuela de Jesús” founded by the pastor himself. We were 12 young men of different ages learning about Jesus by getting together every week, reading the Gospel, commenting on what we had just learned about Jesus and praying Vespers to close our meetings. This group and the witness of my pastor Albeiro Maldonado, currently the bishop of a small diocese in the South part of the country, were key in my then growing desire to become a priest. It wasn´t until 2010 that I met Fr. Angel Anaya, a priest from Colombia who serves in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. I told him about my desire to become a priest where I could be of more help and he mentioned the possibility of starting a conversation with the vocations director. I did so and after two visits to saint Francis, I finally became a seminarian for the Archdiocese in 2014.
What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?
The greatest challenge a man in discernment might face could be fear. It comes in different ways: fear of the family’s and friends’ reaction to the idea of even considering priesthood. It could also be fear of what the future might be like: the many years of study, the life at the seminary itself. If fear is what a man is facing at the time of discernment I would recommend him to pray on Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Matthew: “take courage, it is I; do not be afraid” (Matthew 14: 27).
What is your favorite psalm verse and why?
"Lord, my allotted portion and my cup, you have made my destiny secure. Pleasant places were measured out for me, fair to me indeed is my inheritance." (Ps.16: 5-6) I see my call to priesthood as living like the one that has the Lord as his only portion and inheritance.
What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?
I love walking in the park or mountains. I also like visiting friends and having coffee and a good conversation with them.
Where do you like to go pray?
Wherever I can find Jesus in the Eucharist.
Where do you do your best studying?
In my room or in the library. I guess wherever I can find silence.
Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
I have a special devotion to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. She loved Jesus in a very special way, walking the path of Love. She was trying to find her place in the Church and finally found out she was called to be Love! I would like to nourish my vocation to the priesthood with small or big daily acts of love!