I am one out of the eight men ordained to the sacred priesthood for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on May 30, 2015. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, particularly the Silver Lake and Glendale areas, where my mother, brother and plenty of family members still reside. My father was called to his eternal reward in 2012.
Growing up, my family and I attended St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Los Angeles. I am a product of a Catholic school education, from the very beginning, at St. Francis of Assisi Parish School, to St. Francis High School in La Canada. Hearing the Lord’s voice calling me to serve Him at an early age, beginning in second grade, I decided to enter the college seminary for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
I studied at Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon, discerning during my seminary college years, for a more contemplative life. I entered the Discalced Carmelite Friars, Province of St. Joseph, and was with the religious institute for five years (the very same people who first started this parish, who would have thought). During that time, I was exposed to various apostolates of the province such as retreat work and parish ministry. With further prayer and discernment, I decided to return to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to complete my priestly formation.
I was assigned to Holy Name of Jesus Parish, in South Los Angeles for a pastoral year. After that year, I was sent to complete my seminary studies at Mount Angel Seminary. I graduated in Theology in May 2014, and shortly after, headed to Mexico for an intensive Spanish immersion program with other seminarians from the United States.
In preparation for my diaconate ordination November 2014, I was given another pastoral year this time in the northern part of the archdiocese in the parish of St. Mary Magdalen, Camarillo. It was a truly fruitful year as deacon. These last four years I have been the associate pastor for St. Margaret Mary, Lomita. Now as I transition to my Our Lady of Grace parish family I cannot but be thankful for the faith, generosity, and prayers of God’s people. As we journey together, I also give thanks for the wonderful ministry of Fr. Jay these last eight years. He is a wonderful pastor, and we wish him well at St. Cornelius, Long Beach. May we all fall deeper in love with Jesus, his Church, and help one another reach heaven.
I am reminded of how much our life is about encountering the living God that empowers us to be witnesses. Indeed, it is our time to be a Church and People of the New Evangelization. The Blessed Pope Paul VI said, “Modern man listens more readily to witnesses than to teachers, and if he listens to teachers, it is because they are witnesses … The world is crying out for Evangelizers to speak to it of a God whom the evangelizers know and are familiar with, as if they could see the invisible.” Let us fervently pray for one another that we may be courageous in living out our vocations and cry the gospel with our lives!