Episcopal Vicar, Riverside Pastoral Region
Q. Why did you become a priest?
Why I entered the seminary and why I became a priest are two different things. I entered the seminary because I wanted to do something good for God. I became a priest because this is how I wanted to live in communion with God.
The shift took place during my theology years. I took a course on St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. The Carmelite spirituality was a big impact on me.
Q. What do you do for fun?
When I have a free day I like to go hiking and I like to cook. I’ve been teaching myself how to make Spanish and Belgian dishes. For me that is very relaxing, that and working in my garden. I subscribe to the theology of beauty. I like to provide myself with a beautiful environment to relax, have some leisure and contemplate. I also do like to read a lot, spiritual reading (theology and philosophy).
Q. If you could be a patron saint of something, what would it be?
I would be the patron of those who question God and seek the truth. A lot of times, when I am with teens they share with me what they perceive to be questions and doubts. In reality they are searching for the truth. I enjoy these conversations. I help them understand that God is real, that questions are good and if they persevere, they can find answers.
Q. What is an important issue facing the Church of San Bernardino?
One of the things we are facing as a diocese is fulfilling the mission of Jesus with a heart like his. Jesus showed us love and mercy through His incarnation, death and resurrection. Those who have experienced His love and mercy have been entrusted to imitate Christ in taking that love and mercy into the world. The mission and the heart of Christ is what we need to promote. Love and mercy is what can change the world. We need to remember that all has to be done in companionship with Jesus Christ!