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 factors which helped me to start discerning my vocation was being in a Neocathecumenal community. Before, I had never thought about my vocation. I was going through a time in my life when nothing was clear, felt uncertain about the future, and in the midst of this I felt the Lord calling me. So, with the help of priest who was a missionary in my city, I started to follow this call and so I entered then the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
One of the persons who influenced my vocation was my cousin who had been going to the vocational meetings for some years and invited me to go. Another person is the rector of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Bogotá in whom I saw signs that I had never seen in a priest before. He was generous, acted with discernment, and had a spirit of love and of service. Then as I cam to meet and know other priests, what assisted me in my vocation was to see their zeal to announce the Gospel and their love for the mission and for the people God had entrusted them.
What would you say is the role of prayer in the life of a seminarian and what effect does it have on one's ability to see God's call?
Prayer is one of the pillars not just in the life of the seminary but also of the Christian life. So to understand the importance of prayer is to grow in the awareness of being in a constant relation with God, to place myself in an attitude of hearing the voice of God and letting him manifest or enlighten me on what to do, on what is his will for me.
What advice would you give to a man who thinking about his vocation and is considering that God may be calling him to be a priest?
I am very young to give advice but I would say that if God is calling you, don’t brush aside that idea too fast: follow what your heart is calling you to do and give God a chance to surprise you. God never disappoints us and it is his will that you become a priest, then God will lead the way. So, pray, be patient and steadfast – and let God do the rest!
What do you like most about being a seminarian?
One of the things that I like the most about being a seminarian is being part of a parish here, even though it is not my native country. I especially enjoy sharing in the lives of families, to know their difficulties, to listen to them and at times also to encourage them and to let their faith be forged and shaped by their trials. I also like that being a seminarian my life is marked by regular prayer every day and every moment of the day, something that I did not have outside of the seminary.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?
For a man who is considering the seminary today, I think one of the greatest challenges is to give up all that the world offers. such as fame, money, the idea of having a girlfriend or a family, and in some cases, the persecutions offered within the family.
What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?
In my free times I enjoy playing video-games, learning new languages, reading, watching movies and listening to music.
What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston?
The best way to encourage vocations in the Archdiocese of Boston is to show that the life of a priest or a religious is exciting and not boring, to show that life with Christ is happiness. I also think that we need to help young people see that there is not a standard, or a measure, that they have to measure up to in order to qualify: they are the measure and God is the one who calls and qualifies anyone he calls. In the Gospels Jesus calls sinners to follow him, so we should not expect that God today would call saints. What is important is to allow the grace of God to act in our lives.