St. Pius V
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Year in Formation
My birthday is April 13, 1992. I have one older sister. I grew up in Buena Park in our family home. I receive all my sacraments of initiation at St. Pius V in Buena Park. I went to Buena Park High School and graduated in 2010. I attended California State University, Fullerton and graduated in 2015. Go Titans!
What are some of the factors that led to your decision to enter the seminary and discern the question of a vocation to the priesthood?
One of the main reasons I decided to pursue this vocation to the priesthood of Jesus Christ was due to my love of sharing my faith with others. I was a catechist at my home parish, St. Pius V in Buena Park, for many years before entering seminary. I began working with the first communion students, confirmation student, and eventually assisting with RCIA. I realized how fulfilled I was sharing my faith, and this deep desire to know and understand my faith in a deeper way to share with others I encountered. I had the desire to share the truths of our faith in a way a 2nd grader would understand and at the same time to the youth and adults. I was told by a wise priest, “If you can explain it to a 2nd grader and they understand the adults will too”. How correct he was. To be able to explain, I first had to understand, and I feel this is where the Holy Spirit was moving and forming me to be one of his priests. I am very thankful to the students I taught, they had so many questions which furthered my studies. It was in this ministry where I found my deep love of scripture and putting our faith into action through charitable works.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
My mother is one who is a true window into living out a life of service through love and compassion. While she was faithful and had a relationship with God, growing up we didn’t go to church much. My mother though shared the gospel message through her service and prayer. My mother was one who sacrificed so much to care for her ailing mother and father until they passed. She was their full-time caretaker. While this is not an easy thing to do, she showed me what it means to have a self-sacrificing love for others, to serve their needs and to listen to their pain, only to respond with words of consolation and through loving actions. I feel she has been the one who has helped to shape and form me for my future ministry as a priest. To encounter those who broken and wounded and lead them to the divine healer who has been waiting to ease their suffering.
Describe the moment that you knew you wanted to take the next steps to become a priest?
There was a very clear moment where I knew I wanted to be a priest. I remember having the thought, “I want to be like Fr. Brennan”. Fr. Brennan was one of the Augustinians who served our parish community for many years. He had such a joyful demeanor that radiated the love of Christ. It was through his joy and missionary zeal that I had this first inclination to be a priest. Of course, I didn’t know about the specifics and logistics at that time, I had no idea about the life of the priest, but I was attracted to the holiness and joy. When I was in college deciding my next steps after graduation, I began feeling this tugging at my heart knowing that the Lord was calling me to be his priest. I began praying that the Lord would illuminate His will for my life. I am so blessed and thankful that I followed that gentle voice which has led me to this amazing vocation. When I prostrated on the floor of the basilica, there was no fear or anxiety, but instead an overwhelming affirmation and such a graced experience of consolation. I cannot wait for this coming June when I can serve the people of God as one of His priests.