I was born in Medellin, Colombia. In that city we had the Latin American Bishops’ Conference in 1968. The conference marked an important change in the Latin American Church, denouncing unjust social structures and embracing the concept of the “Preferential Option for the Poor.” As a result, this inspired me in my way of thinking about Theology, and the presence of God in human history.
I hold a license in Spanish and Literature (I can teach it at a college level) as well as a minor in Psychology. I also received a college degree in Communication and Journalism from Antioquia University in Medellin, Colombia. I also hold a minor in Philosophy from a Pontifical University in Medellin.
I worked for many years with the government in a public utility corporation named “EPM Medellin” in areas of telecommunications, gas, electricity and water supply (as a community advocate) as well in the Communications Office (as a journalist). I also did some work (side job) in a national newspaper called “El Tiempo” as a reporter. I was a catechist in Colombia and I did some mission in poor areas with the Jesuits in Medellin.
I came to the U.S. in 2000 and resided in Northern California. I studied ESL and meanwhile I discerned my priestly vocation (that vocation for priesthood came since I was an altar boy in a parish and as I went to an elementary Catholic school in Medellin). I studied at Franciscan School of Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA and hold a degree in Master in Theological Studies (M.T.S.) from there. I also worked as Associate Director of Latino Faith Formation, and Catechetical Department, at the Diocese of Oakland. I worked there for 6 years. It was a great opportunity to work in lay ministry and understand the church from the eyes of the people of God.
After some consideration, I applied for the Diocese of Metuchen as a seminarian (I had bishop connection from a priest back in California – Father John Sawkoski)). I received a Master in Divinity from Saint Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, MD. I served as a transitional Deacon at St James parish in Woodbridge for a year. I was ordained on May 25, 2013. My main fields of interests are Moral Theology, Political Science, Church History, Latino Theology as well as Ecclesiology. I enjoy classical music, flamenco, reading, praying, friends, swimming and soccer. My first assignment as a priest was in Saint Joseph Parish in Bound Brook. Then I was transferred in June 2014 to St. Philip and St. James in Phillipsburg and it has been a great opportunity to serve the people of God from different ethnic backgrounds (Italians, Irish, German, and Latinos among others). I really feel blessed to serve as a catholic priest in such a diverse community and appreciate the tremendous support of the parish staff as well of the clergy (Father John, Father Tom and Father Vincent), from whom I have learned a lot. On August 1, 2017, I started my ministry as a Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Bernardsville. I am so excited to be here and ready to serve the whole community. I will also be working at the Diocese of Metuchen at the Office of Latino/Hispanic Ministry two days a week.
Please pray for me and be sure I pray for you all!!