Where did you grow up and go to school?
I grew up in Bayaguana in the Dominican Republic. I did my elementary studies at 27 de Febrer Elementary School in Bayaguana and my High School studies at Colegio San Francisco de Asís, in Santo Domingo East, Dominican Republic. I moved to Providence, R.I., in January 2020 to enter the Our Lady of Providence Seminary.
I am very excited to start this new and first year as a seminarian of the Diocese of Providence and even more so, to start my theological studies. I hope that the theology classes will help me understand more the sacred scriptures, the sacraments and the life of the Church, but most importantly to help me grow in faith and love for the Catholic Church.
How did you discern your vocation to the priesthood?
Since I was a child I felt called by God to the priesthood and I loved the things that my pastor Father Gregorio Berroa did. It is precisely as an altar server that I got myself involved into the life of the Church and of the sacraments. I have a great devotion to the Eucharist. I remember that the first time I heard the biblical text of Jeremiah’s call (Jr 1, 5-9) I felt that God was calling me. This reading helped me understand God’s own call in my life and how I was being moved to respond to his voice in my heart.
Moved by that desire and call from God, I decided to enter the community of the Capuchin Friars to discern and respond to the call and the vocation that God was leading me. But staying in the Capuchin Friars Community were not God’s plans for me. During our life, the Holy Spirit leads us in directions that at the time we do not anticipate. In prayer and discernment God guided me to the Diocese of Providence through his servant Father James Ruggieri.
What would you say to a young man discerning the priesthood — or maybe hasn’t even considered it at all?
I would suggest taking time in silence and prayer, and to ask God directly and from his heart, what do you want from me? And in that same spirit of prayer, wait and God will speak to you inside of your heart what his will is.
If he has not thought about discerning the priesthood yet, I would encourage him to consider this beautiful lifestyle to serve God and to not to be afraid to say yes to the Lord.
Is there any person or saint whom you credit with interceding on your behalf to God for your vocational discernment?
Yes, Father James Ruggieri and the Most Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
Favorite Hobbies and/or fun fact about yourself:
I like to ride my bicycle. I’m also fascinated by history and I am characterized by always offering a smile.
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