Dcn. Dennis Beltré
Parish: St. Paul the Apostle, Mount Pleasant
Seminary: Saint Francis de Sales
Birthday: February 25
Intercessor: Saint Denis of Paris
Tell us your vocation story:
I am originally from the Dominican Republic, my home parish is La Sagrada Familia which is a sister parish of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. I moved to the states to do my priestly formation because the Milwaukee priests have been an important part of my vocation to the priesthood. Faith is an important part of my family and thanks to it we grew up surrounded by religious people. I saw them laugh, make jokes, share meals and interact with others, this was due to my father who worked with the church for several years when I was growing up. Something from this experience that I did not recognize until much later was an attraction to the ordinary aspect in priesthood life. While I was going through high school our pastor Fr. Jerry Thompson passed away. The Archdiocese assigned the priests of the Community of Saint Paul to continue the pastoral work in our parish. With them I discovered a sense of community life in the likeness of Jesus and his disciples which reminded me of the past atmosphere among our previous pastors. After doing pastoral work with them for several years, I felt my life being very connected to the gospel. I felt God’s call and took a step forward by expressing the desire to become a priest. Finally, I was sent to Milwaukee to be formed for the priesthood and God willing be able to serve his people.
What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?
Being afraid to consider the seminary. For me a vocation is like a journey in which God is always interceding. This happens until the day we die. The seminary can be for many men a step in understanding this journey. You come with your values and faults and then discover what you need to do to improve. Sometimes people considering a vocation to the priesthood do not move forward because they feel that they have to know everything about the priesthood. Guys may think that if they are not masters of prayer life, or have some past faults to confess maybe seminary is not for them. This is wrong. Only God is perfect, but he can lead men to greater holiness in the priesthood. Seminary will help you so that you can really discern that desire to grow in holiness. Not giving it a try can stop a person from discovering what for them could have been a richer way of life.
What is your favorite Psalm verse and why?
I don’t have a favorite psalm, it is too hard to choose! One of my favorite parts of the bible is the Acts of the Apostles. It gives insight into the first communities of faithful and their courage of the spreading of the gospel.
What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?
I like to go bike riding if the weather is permissible, I also like going to the movies and travelling around the country.
Where do you like to go to pray?
In places of silence and peace, like in church or outdoors where there is no noise and I can enjoy the wind and nature.
Where do you do your best studying?
I have not found the perfect place but I study in both my room and the library.
Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
Saint Denis of Paris, so that one day I can have his commitment to the church.